After enjoying what could be the warmest New Year’s Eve on record, the UK is expected to return to freezing cold temperatures at the start of January.
Temperatures are to return to average from New Year’s Day onwards after an unusually mild late December, the Met Office has said.
Low pressure systems moving across the Atlantic were bringing in milder air and wet weather but next week things should return to normal and parts of northern England and Scotland could see frost in the new year.
The prediction comes after parts of the UK had a white Christmas, with snowfall in Yorkshire and Scotland.
“(After New Year’s Eve) there is a trend for temperatures to return nearer to normal”, meteorologist Craig Snell told the PA news agency. “That’s not surprising as temperatures are way above average.”
Snell added: “For this time of year, if we see any clearer slots at night then that does give some risk for frost, particularly across the northern half of the UK.”
Normally the UK sees average daytime temperatures of 7-8C in the South and 3-4C in the North in January, he said, with night-time temperatures of 2-3C in the South and 0C in the North.
The UK is experiencing an unusually warm end to December, and forecasters believe New Year’s Eve could be the warmest on record, with temperatures set to reach 15C in some parts of the country.
Met Office meteorologist Greg Dewhurst said: “The record is 14.8C on New Year’s Eve and that was in 2011. Temperatures look like they’ll be 14-15C (57.2-59F) so it is possible that temperatures could be that value.”
Dewhurst said the weather throughout the week will be “on the mild side”, adding: “We’re going to see across the whole of the country, through the rest of this week, temperatures that are above average for this time of year.
“The average temperature in the UK around this time of year should be around 7-8C (44.6-46.4F). Going forward, we’re looking at highs of around 12-14C (53.6-57.2F), possibly locally 15C in one or two spots, so it’s going to be well above average.”