An exceptionally mild month to end an unexceptional year.

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  • Flooding near Hebden bridge, Yorkshire. Image by; Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

    Rescue teams in Whally, Lancashire. Picture by; Kim Pilling/PA Wire/Press Association Images

    Cumulative radar showing the estimated rainfall totals for the 26 December. Graphic; MetoeGroup.

  • An exceptionally mild month to end an unexceptional year.
    26.12.2015 17:37

    The average temperature so far this month to date (Saturday 26th) is 9.6C, which is around 5 degrees warmer than normal. To put it into perspective, the current overnight average temperature in the south is higher than the average day time temperature for December. Although the next few days do look to be slightly cooler, this month is still set to beat the previous warmest December on record (1974) by at least 1C.

    This heat has not come without a cost. The warm air that has been hitting the UK has been dragged up from the south-west across the Atlantic. The air is therefore full of moisture, and it is this factor that has caused this month to be rather cloudy and exceptionally wet. As the warm moist air collides with colder air in the north, large frontal systems are created. Northern England and Western Scotland have been in the firing line of many of these fronts. This has been the cause of the widespread flooding, as these areas have been subjected to more than 3 times more rainfall than on an average year. These amounts still look set to increase further, as rain continues to fall across northern areas today (26th of December).

    Over the run up to New Year there will be little change to the unsettled weather, as the south-westerly air flow continues to dominate driving rain in at times. However, there will be some respite between the bands of rain.

    On Monday it will be dry for a time with sunny periods, but rain will push into western areas in the afternoon. The rain will clear across the country overnight. Sunny spells and a few showers on Tuesday but again rain will push into western areas later. Stormy on Wednesday with a band of heavy rain stalled over western and northern areas. Very strong southerly winds. Currently New Year’s Eve looks set to kindly fall between the bands of rain and apart from some showers in the west it should be largely dry with sunny and then clear spells. However, this brief period of calm may sadly be short lived as the start of next year looks set to continue the way this year will end.

    By: John Griffiths