Mowing the lawn has been the reality for some so far this December, with unseasonably high temperatures. It looks as though the UK is on track to break the record for the warmest December since records began in 1910 and some areas have also seen their wettest.
The latest temperatures for December (1st to 22nd) reveal that the month so far has been far warmer than normal. Early provisional figures* reveal that the mean temperature for December in the UK has so far has been 8.1C, which is 4.2C above the long-term average for the month and well above the previous record of 6.9C set in 1934.
The December figure for England has so far been 9.5C, that’s 5.1C above the same long-term average and 2C above the record of 7.5C set in 1934, and the other UK nations have been similarly warm:
- the mean temperature of 9.3C in Wales, higher than the previous post-1910 record of 7.5C set in 1934, and 4.8C above average
- the mean temperature of 5.6°C in Scotland is 2.8C above average, but is so far slightly lower than the previous December record of 5.8C set in 1988
- the mean temperature of 7.5°C in Northern Ireland is 3C higher than average, and marginally higher than the 1988 December record
Tim Legg of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre said: “With no sign of any significantly cold weather to come in the remaining 9 days of the month, we’re on track to break the warmest December record which was set back in 1934.”
Rainfall and sunshine figures so far confirm December has been dull and wet across most of the UK, with sunshine well down on the long-term average while precipitation (which of course has fallen mainly as rain) has been well above. Some places have seen record breaking rainfall:
- Cumberland 310.9mm rainfall 1 – 22nd Dec (previous record 248.2mm 2006),
- Westmorland 474.4mm 1 – 22nd Dec (previous record 365.1mm 2006)
- Dumfriesshire 314mm rainfall 1 – 22nd Dec (previous record 307.5mm 2013)
- Carnarvonshire 441.3mm rainfall 1 – 22nd Dec (previous record 376.6mm 1965)
- Roxburghshire 237.8mm rainfall 1 – 22nd Dec (previous record 219.7mm 2013)
|EARLY||mean temperature||sunshine duration||precipitation|
|1-22 Dec 2015||Act||Anom||Act||Anom||Act||Anom|
|Deg C||Deg C||hours||%||mm||%|
You can find out what the rest of the year has been like on our climate pages.
*Data from the Met Office’s UK digitised records dating back to 1910.
Please note that these provisional figures, especially for rainfall and sunshine, are subject to revision. Anomalies are expressed relative to the 1981-2010 averaging period.