UK records warmest ever January temperature, hitting 19.6C

The new maximum temperature could break the previous record by more than a degree celsius

Tom Watling
Monday 29 January 2024 11:20 GMT
UK weather: The latest Met Office forecast

The record for the highest maximum temperature on a January day has just been broken after a provisional record was measured in northern Scotland.

The Met Office said they had recorded a 19.6C temperature on Sunday in Kinlochewe, a village in the northwest Highlands about an hour’s drive from Inverness.

People walking in the New Forest enjoy the unseasonably balmy recent temperatures
People walking in the New Forest enjoy the unseasonably balmy recent temperatures (Geoffrey Swaine/Shutterstock)

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Met Office said: “There has provisionally been a new UK January daily max temperature record set today at Kinlochewe where the temperature reached 19.6C.

“This beats the previous January UK record of 18.3C set at Inchmarlo and Aboyne in 2003 and Aber in 1958 and 1971.”

The nearly 20C temperature means that it is hotter at the time of writing in northwest Scotland than in Rome, the French Riviera and Barcelona in Spain.

Donald MacLennan, manager of the Kinlochewe Hotel, confirmed it was “really hot outside”.

“But I can't see anyone out enjoying it as it's blowing a hoolie,” he told the BBC. “We’re surrounded by mountains so the place can be a bit of a heat trap and we’ve been in the news before for being the hottest place in the UK.”

According to meteorologists, the northwestern village of Kinlochewe was experiencing unusually warm conditions in part because of southerly winds drawing up a mild air mass across Scotland.

The village was also subject to a yellow wind warning on Sunday, with gusts in excess of 40mph forecast. The warning was in place for the northwest Highlands and Outer Hebrides between 11am and 5pm.

A gust of 71mph was recorded in the Western Isles.

Elsewhere, Scotland’s central belt and the eastern coast of Northern Ireland were already under a yellow wind warning, due to last from 10am to 8pm.

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