UK weather: Hottest New Year's Eve recorded as Brits welcome 2022

31 December 2021, 18:22 | Updated: 31 December 2021, 22:42

The UK has recorded the mildest New Year's Eve on record
The UK has recorded the mildest New Year's Eve on record. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Britain has marked its hottest New Year's Eve on record, the Met Office has confirmed.

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The previous record of 14.8C, held by Colwyn Bay in North Wales in 2011, was toppled at 11am on Friday in Ryehill, East Yorkshire, when the mercury hit 14.9C.

The following hour, a high of 15.3C was recorded in Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

"Our station at Ryehill, a small village in East Yorkshire, has recorded 14.9C today, which tops the previous record of 14.8C," Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said.

"It has provisionally broken the New Year's Eve record.

"We would expect that to climb further and reach temperatures we saw yesterday of around 15.5C."

The warm spell also has the potential to challenge records for New Year’s Day, creating the unusual situation of one weather system perhaps breaking weather records for two days in separate calendar years.

The highest UK daytime temperature recorded on New Year’s Day was 15.6C in Bude, Cornwall, in 1916.

The extremely mild spell is driven by a flow of warm, moist air from the Canary Islands, further south in the Atlantic and also brings some cloud and outbreaks of rain to the UK.

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But temperatures are set to fall slightly at night as the UK rings in 2022, according to forecasters.

Revellers in some parts of the UK will have to brace for rain in the evening, with light drizzle expected across pockets of eastern and southern England and North Wales.

It comes after what is likely to have been Britain's dullest December since 1956 with less than 27 hours of sunlight across the country on average.

The Met Office said there had been just 26.6 hours of sunshine over 30 days - 38 per cent less than the national average for this time of year.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said the dull weather was linked to milder temperatures across winter generally, which are likely to be caused by global warming.

"One of the reasons we're getting the dull weather is the fact that it's been so mild. We're drawing in south-westerly wind from the Atlantic and it's also drawing in a lot of moisture. It keeps us warm but it also produces a lot of cloud," he said.

Mr Snell added: "The globe is warming up so we would expect our winters to be milder than they were."

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But as the UK heads into the New Year snow could be on the way.

During the first week of January, the Met Office forecast frost, snow and heavy rain.

The official forecast reads: "A cold and frosty start to this period, before rain spreads from the west.

"This rain may be heavy at times and could be preceded by a short period of snow, mainly in northern areas.

"Cloud and rain are likely to clear, leading to drier and brighter conditions further south and east.

"Generally windy for all, with the strongest winds accompanying the rain to the north and west.

"Overall, temperatures are expected to be near to or above average, although some temporary colder periods are likely."