Some parts of Britain could be as warm during the winter solstice this year as they were on the summer solstice in June, forecasters have said.
Falling on 22 December, the shortest day of 2015 looks set to be record-breakingly mild, with temperatures in excess of 16C possible across south-east England.
A spokesperson for the Met Office told The Independent that temperatures in some parts of Britain have already beaten the high of 14C recorded in Glasgow on 21 June.
And the MeteoGroup forecasting organisation said even before 8am this morning that 15C was recorded at London City Airport and 14.3C at Heathrow.
The Met Office said temperatures varied across regions, but Carlisle was expected to reach a high of around 14C - similar to the 14.9C recorded there in June.
Glasgow itself was predicted to fall just a couple of degrees short of the temperature in June, with a similar picture seen in Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham and elsewhere.
A spokesperson said it was also “finely balanced” as to whether or not today would be the hottest 22 December since records began.
The Greater London area is the most likely to beat the record of 16.1C set at Hoylake, Merseyside, in 1910.
Asked about a possible record for the day, a spokeswoman for MeteoGroup told PA: “We've not got a great deal of rising of temperatures to do to match the record and I think we could see that matched today.”
The outlook was less sunny for the north of England, while there were warnings for rain today in south-west Scotland, north-west England and west Wales.
And with Storm Eva reportedly on its way, a Met Office forecaster warned of “very unsettled” weather to come in the next few days up to Christmas.
“It could just be cooling off across the hills of Scotland at times, giving a bit of snow, but it will be the highest ground in Scotland, so if there's a white Christmas anywhere it will just be the mountains of Scotland,” the forecaster said.
“The two main features of the weather are the rain today and then on Wednesday night there's quite a deep area of low pressure passing by to the north-west of Scotland, which could give some very strong winds on Wednesday night coming into Christmas Eve morning.
The forecaster added that there was “no sign of any significant cold weather for some time yet”.
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