Dry New Year's Eve forecast to end wettest year on record


New Year's Eve revellers have been told to expect a cool, dry evening across the UK, as the country prepares to say goodbye to one of the wettest years of record.

According to the Met office just 1.8in (46mm) of rain is needed to fall before December 31 to make this year the wettest since records began in 1910, with a new high already set for England with 43.1in (1,095.8mm) falling between January 1 and Boxing Day.

The UK as a whole had 50.8in (1,291.2mm) of rain from January 1 to December 26, with the wettest year on record for the UK currently 2000, when 52.6in (1,337.3mm) fell. Confirmation is expected next week, and would be all the more remarkable considering the drought status declared for parts of the country during the early part of the year.

But despite Monday, December 31 likely to endure a wet start to the day, much of that rain is expected to have shifted in time for the midnight celebrations.

Nick Grahame, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said there was likely to be good news for party-goers at most of the UK's favourite end-of-year locations, famous for their outdoor celebrations.

"On New Year's Eve itself there will be further rain coming across the course of the day," he said. "I think everywhere is going to see rain at times and it is going to be windy, as well, in certain areas.

"But when we get to New Year's Eve itself in the run-up to the countdown to midnight, I think most places will be dry.

Edinburgh is likely to be dry for its Hogmanay celebrations, with the risk of the odd wintry shower coming through, while in Dublin will be milder, Mr Grahame said.

In England, Nottingham and the Cornish town of Looe - a favourite of New Year's Eve party top-ten lists - are both also expected to escape rainfall.

Mr Grahame said there was a possibility of some rain lingering in the capital, however.

"London's a little bit dubious, there could still be a bit of rain hanging about at midnight. It should have cleared through but there's still that risk.

"But for New Year's Eve going into midnight itself, it should be dry for most of the UK."