Britain heading for mild Christmas


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The Independent Online

Britain is heading for a mild Christmas, with parts of Scotland expected to enjoy the most unseasonably warm weather.

Eastern Scotland should see the country's highest temperature on Sunday, of 14C (57.2F) - just short of the 1896 Christmas Day record of 15.6C (60F).

Similarly balmy conditions are forecast elsewhere, with London, Bristol and the Midlands all set for a temperature of 12C (53.6F).

It is a huge contrast to Christmas Day last year, when temperatures plummeted to below -17c (1.4F).

Matt Dobson, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Normally in late December in London we expect temperatures of 7C (44.6F) or 8C (48.2F).

"For eastern Scotland the average is about 6C (42.8F), so this year is well above average.

"It's also a massive contrast to last Christmas, which was bitterly cold."

Those hoping for a white Christmas will be disappointed, according to forecasters.

"Even across Scotland where you normally have snow on the mountains it'll be too warm for snow," Mr Dobson said.

As well as mild temperatures, Northern Ireland and Scotland are expected to see wet and windy conditions on Sunday, with gusts of 60mph in the far north-west.

Mr Dobson added: "Much of Wales and the north and west of England will be cloudy, but the south and east of the country might see a bit of sunshine. It'll be quite a bright afternoon."