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Met Office: Record for warmest New Year's Day on record has been broken
1 January 2022, 13:13 | Updated: 1 January 2022, 13:46
Britain has enjoyed the warmest new year on record as temperatures rose above 16C.
Temperatures increased overnight to reach 16.5C in Bala, Gwynedd, north Wales and 16.2C in St James's Park, provisionally beating the record for the warmest New Year's Day, the Met Office said.
The Met Office Tweeted: "Whilst we await confirmation of any new highest minimum temperature records, St James's Park has now provisionally beaten the record for the warmest New Years Day."
A spokesperson said: "This makes New Year's Eve 2021 provisionally the warmest on record.
"Despite this value occurring overnight, we use the 0900-0900 time period for historical records."
The warm start to the new year follows a mild December and record-breaking temperatures during the day on New Year's Eve.
Friday saw temperatures reach 15.8C in Merryfield in Somerset and Nantwich in Cheshire, which beat the previous record of 14.8C.
The balmier-than-usual start to the year saw people happily take part in traditional New Year's Day swims across the country, including at Derby Pool, New Brighton, Wirral.
Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said the average temperature in December and the beginning of January is usually around 7C or 8C, with the warmer weather due to a south-westerly wind making its way across the country.
The higher temperatures are usually localised, but "plenty of places" have seen highs of 15C over December, he said.
However, he added that January could see a drop in temperatures.
On Friday, Somerset House in London confirmed it would be closing its ice rink on New Year's Day due to warmer temperatures.
A spokesperson for the attraction tweeted: "Skate update: Due to the effect of the on-going warm temperatures on the quality of the ice, we have had to make the difficult decision to also close our ice rink on 1 January."