New year gets off to warmest start on record

Temperatures rose overnight to 16.5C in Bala, Gwynedd, north Wales.

Pa Reporters
Saturday 01 January 2022 14:22
Swimmers take part in the New Year’s Day swim at Derby Pool, New Brighton, Wirral (Peter Byrne/PA)
Swimmers take part in the New Year’s Day swim at Derby Pool, New Brighton, Wirral (Peter Byrne/PA)

Britain has enjoyed the warmest new year on record as temperatures rose above 16C.

The Met Office said temperatures increased overnight to reach 16.5C in Bala, Gwynedd north Wales.

A spokesperson said: “This makes New Year’s Eve 2021 provisionally the warmest on record.

“Despite this value occurring overnight, we use the 0900-0900 time period for historical records.”

It could also be the hottest New Year’s Day on record as the Met Office said it was awaiting confirmation that 16.2C had been reached in St James’s Park, central London.

The current New Year’s Day record temperature was 15.6C recorded in Bude, Cornwall, in 1916.

Met Office forecaster Dan Stroud urged people to “make the most of the warmth because a change is on the way as we go into the early part of next week”.

Daytime temperatures are expected to plunge to as low as 3C in Edinburgh by Tuesday and 7C in London and Cardiff.

People take part in a New Year’s Day dip in front of the Forth Bridge at South Queensferry, Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

He said: “We are going to be losing the sub-tropical air flow and replacing it with some things from the north.

“Temperatures will definitely go back to average, with a return of frost and some snow in the forecast across north areas and across the hills.”

The warm start to the new year follows a mild December and record-breaking temperatures during the day on New Year’s Eve.

Friday saw temperatures reach 15.8C in Merryfield in Somerset and Nantwich in Cheshire which beat the previous record of 14.8C.

Swimmers make their way out to sea as the sun begins to rise over Boscombe beach in Dorset on New Year’s Day (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The balmier-than-usual start to the year saw people happily take part in traditional New Year’s Day swims across the country, including at Derby Pool, New Brighton, Wirral.

Met Office forecaster Craig Snell said the average temperature in December and the beginning of January is usually around 7C or 8C, with the warmer weather due to a south-westerly wind making its way across the country.

The higher temperatures are usually localised, but “plenty of places” have seen highs of 15C over December, he said.

On Friday, Somerset House in London confirmed it would be closing its ice rink on New Year’s Day due to warmer temperatures.

A spokesperson for the attraction tweeted: “Skate update: Due to the effect of the on-going warm temperatures on the quality of the ice, we have had to make the difficult decision to also close our ice rink on 1 January.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in