Tuesday 02 December 1997
Like an exhausted marathon runner stumbling over the line, November failed to keep up the record-breaking warmth of its first four weeks; the last few days of cold left it in fourth place on the Warmest Novembers of the Century chart, beaten out of the medals by 1938, 1939 and 1994. Nevertheless, the temperatures were on average about two degrees above normal. Aberdeen, however, had four times as much rain as normal, giving it the second wettest November in the city's records.
Now all eyes are on December, which needs to be only averagely chilly to leave 1997 overall the warmest year in almost 140 years and the seventh warmest in the 338-year record for central England.
On Sunday, the predictions were for a particularly cold start to the month, with snow flurries, sleet and ice. Motoring organisations were standing by with extra patrols and motorists were advised to carry a shovel in the boot along with anti-freeze and warm clothing.
By yesterday, however, the forecasts had become a little milder as cold fronts from the Arctic slowed down on their way here. Predictions of snow and ice everywhere were downgraded to cold and dry with some frost and isolated showers - but of rain rather than snow.
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