Balmy Britain is warmer than Athens and Barcelona
Unseasonably mild weather dashed hopes of a White Christmas yesterday.
Temperatures of between 11C and 14C were reported across the UK – higher than in Athens (10C) and Barcelona (12C), and almost as warm as Cairo (16C). The record UK temperature for 25 December is 15.6C – set in 1896 and again in 1920.
Despite yesterday's mild weather, winds gusting at up to 85mph battered the Shetland Islands and northern Scotland.
Meanwhile, about 100 people defied safety warnings to take part in a yuletide tradition by plunging into the sea.
Brighton Swimming Club had announced that its annual Christmas Day swim was cancelled because of high tides and strong winds, but crowds flocked to the beach regardless and at 11am about 100 people dashed into the choppy water.
Alongside the Christmas hats were several swimmers in superhero costumes, one dressed as a Christmas tree and a man in a green "mankini". One swimmer had to be rescued from the treacherous tides and was dragged to safety by other revellers. Similar Christmas Day dips were held at Exmouth, Dublin, and Porthcawl in South Wales. In London, the Serpentine Swimming Club of Hyde Park held its annual Christmas Day Peter Pan Cup Race.
Football fans can look forward to today's matches without the usual chill, according to weather experts. But Aisling Creevey, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, warned: "After Boxing Day temperatures will slowly start to fall back, returning to closer to what we'd expect at this time of year."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: PSHE Teacher required in Devon - Star...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Primary Teacher required Devon
Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Teacher Jobs in Devon Devon
£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are looking for Teaching ...