HUDDERSFIELD endured its second coldest December in more than 100 years.
Records show last month’s temperatures averaged a chilly -0.21°C.
It is only the second time since 1908, when Met Office records started, that a sub-zero average has been recorded.
In December 2009 temperatures averaged a relatively balmy 2.8°C.
Salendine Nook weatherman Paul Stevens said: “There is little doubt in most people’s minds that we experienced something pretty unusual during December.
“Compared with the 1990s and the early part of the new century it was positively bone chilling. Before 2009 we had got used to the first seriously cold weather and snow of the year falling after the New Year but the last two years have certainly bucked the trend.
“Some people may have found it colder than the average suggests and others may have found it slightly warmer.
“But the evidence is that this was the second coldest December in 100 years.”
December also saw the coldest ever temperature recorded in Huddersfield. This was at Emley Moor where the mercury plummeted to -17.9°C.
But, while the national average temperature for last month was the lowest ever recorded, the figures for Huddersfield show it was slightly warmer than the coldest December on record.
That came in 1981 when the average temperature was -1°C.
Paul added: “It may have been a little less extreme here due to the lack of deep snow cover this December compared with 1981.
“We managed a maximum of 19cm of powder snow on the morning of December 2 and this gradually reduced to almost zero on December 10.
“Snow cover insulates the air above from what heat is left in the ground so early in the winter season.”
While December was one of the coldest on record, it was also one of the driest.
There was only 27mm of rainfall during the month – about half the average and the lowest figure since December 1954.
Paul said Huddersfield could expect much milder and wetter weather this week with temperatures possibly creeping into double figures on Wednesday.
But he warned the weather could turn cold again quite soon.
“The next couple of weeks look milder,” he said.
“But there’s a chance as we head towards February that it could turn decidedly chilly again.
“In the years to come we are going to have to get used to the fact that snow, frost and ice will arrive with greater frequency.”