UK weather: Warmest New Year's Day in 99 years while daring swimmers take dips in the sea

The warmest New Year's Day recorded was in 1916

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The Independent Online

Today is the warmest New Year's Day in 99 years with “exceptionally mild” temperatures in the double figures right across most parts of the country while many took part in a traditional annual swim in the sea.

The highest temperature so far of 13.4C was logged in Bude, Cornwall, which has a forecast of 14C that could nearly beat the record of 15.6C in southwest England on 1 January 1916, the Met Office said.

The mildest weather is also likely to be felt by those in northeast Wales, Merseyside, Northern Ireland and Yorkshire with highs of 12C to 13C. London is also expected to be a rather balmy for this time of year where around 11C is expected, forecaster Calum MacColl said.

Western parts of the UK could even see highs of up to 15C. However, winds will make the climate feel much cooler in some areas, forecaster Charles Powell claimed.

Dozens of people took advantage of the relatively balmy weather for this time of year by stripping off their clothes and swimming in the sea in Somerset, Gosport in Hampshire, Whitley Bay in the north east and Barry Island in Wales.

However, a dual warning has been issued by the Met Office as wind and rain are expected to lash northern parts of Wales, northern England and southern Scotland with gusts of up to 60mph and up to 50mm of rainfall today. The Pennines area is expected to see the worst of the wet and windy weather.

Northern Ireland and southwest England are also likely to be soaked before the wet weather front moves towards the south east overnight and clears by early tomorrow morning. High parts of Scotland will see some sleet or snow.

Tomorrow morning is expected to be mainly sunny but much colder than today with temperatures in single figures that are considered average for the time of year, except for London and the southern coast around Brighton that will remain at 11C and 10C respectively.

Tonight will see highs of 8C in London and the south while the most northern parts could reach zero. Dry weather is then expected right until Sunday, which is likely to start off cold and frosty.