Britain is recording temperatures higher than the likes of Madrid and Zaragoza and is as hot as Barcelona today as the UK experiences a bizarre heat surge despite Christmas just days away
The UK is hotter than parts of Spain today as Brits flock outside to enjoy unseasonable 13C warmth.
Winds reaching up to 80mph are forecast later this week, with the Met Office having issued a severe weather warning – including a risk of possible danger to life due to falling debris. Traffic chaos is also likely with potential transport cancellations, and power cuts. Hail, snow and heavy rain is also on the cards.
There are currently 51 flood alerts and 10 warnings in place across England after Scotland saw three weeks’ worth or rain over the weekend, as the Met Office issued an amber weather warning. Up to 162.2mm (6.4in) of rain fell at Achnagart in 48 hours – compared to the average December total for Ross and Cromarty area of the Highlands of 234.9mm (9.3in).
However, the unusually moderate temperatures are due to continue – which are currently around 6C higher than the UK average for mid December. People have been dashing outdoors to make the most of the sunshine. Despite the downpours, Scotland even saw extremely mild temperatures of 14.7C in the likes of Tain in the Highlands yesterday. It would normally see an average of 6.6C this time of year.
According to the Met Office, Madrid and Zaragoza are both seeing highs of just 9C today, while Bilbao has recorded 12C and Barcelona has matched Britain with 13C. It comes as, bizarrely, the chances of it being a white Christmas are still “technically speaking very high”. After the brief mercury surge, forecasts for an icy plume of air sweeping down from the North are sparking fresh hopes of snow. Temperatures are reportedly set to plummet as low as -8C in parts of northern Scotland over the coming week and weekend.
Grahame Madge, spokesperson for the Met Office, told The Mirror today: “We’re still one week away and the broad picture is that there will be colder air coming in from the North. Where the uncertainty plays out is how far south that [cold air] will get. Some models show it coming down as far south as the Midlands.”
The bottom line is, the further north and above sea level you are, the more likely you will be to see a magical sprinkling of snow this Christmas, Mr Madge said. “Technically, it’s very likely to be a white Christmas. The definition is just one snowflake falling on Christmas Day anywhere in the UK, so that’s quite a low bar really. If you were to round up Brits and ask them what they pictured, I imagine most would say it means waking up to a blanket of snow on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, that’s not the technical definition and that’s not going to be the case for the vast majority.”
Mr Madge said that snow in parts of the UK such as the Scottish Highlands and the northern Pennines was far more likely on Christmas Day. The last white Christmas by the Met Office’s technical definition in the UK was only 2021. But when it comes to Christmas card-esque weather, Brits haven’t seen widespread settled snow on the big day since 2010.