Saturday was a record breaker for mild weather in Huddersfield with the town recording the warmest December day ever.
Britain’s balmy – or barmy – winter has seen spring bulbs bursting into life weeks, if not months, early.
Saturday morning’s temperature was warmer than many Mediterranean resorts and the calendar had to go back to December 20, 1971 for the previous warmest day when the mercury hit an unseasonal 14.3C or 57.74F.
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On Saturday Examiner weather forecaster Paul Stevens excitedly tweeted: “Huddersfield temperature record fall for the warmest December day on record 15.5c (59.9F) this morning beating 14.3c in 1971 and 14.6c (58.28F) in 1948.”
It is an intriguing time of year too for gardeners with snowdrops appearing in Mirfield – several weeks before they are usually seen.
Paul said: “These are the sort of temperatures you would be happy to see in mid-May. A temperature of 15.5C is exceptional and what’s more exceptional is that it’s not a one-off.
“For two or three days now we have enjoyed these temperatures. It’s just not normal.
“The reason for them is the warm air coming from the sub-tropics, almost west of the Azores and it’s the strength of the wind that’s helping here, there’s no time for it to cool down.
“It’s a record in what has been an exceptionally warm autumn and means that we are more likely to see wind damage and floods this Christmas than sledges!
“Next week we will see mostly mild weather too with the odd cold spell. If you want a snowy Christmas you will have to head up to Scotland where there may well be some snow.”
Paul said there would be generally mild weather with cold interludes in the run up to the New Year but that Tuesday would prove particularly stormy with gusts of up to 60mph.
And he had some advice for people who leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute saying there would be one or two showers on Christmas Eve as low pressure whips in from the north west.
Sunday was noticeably cooler despite the sunshine and Christmas Day itself would be chilly though with a bright start.