New Year’s Eve 2021 is warmest on record as UK weather stays mild

People in Chinatown in London, where it has been announced that no further coronavirus restrictions will be introduced before the new year. Picture date: Thursday December 30, 2021. Jonathan Brady/PA
New Year’s Eve in 2021 is Britain's warmest one on record. Credit: PA

New Year’s Eve this year is Britain's warmest one on record, the Met Office has confirmed.

The temperature hit a high of 15.3C on Friday in Coningsby, Lincolnshire - topping the previous record of 14.8C in 2011 in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

And temperatures will continue to climb across the country before falling slightly at night as the UK welcomes in 2022.

Areas of southern and eastern England, including the West Country, London and Lincolnshire, will experience the warmest weather, the national weather service said.

At 11am on Friday, the warmest New Year's Eve record in 2011 was first toppled in Ryehill, East Yorkshire, when the mercury hit 14.9C.

Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said: “Our station at Ryehill, a small village in East Yorkshire, has recorded 14.9C today, which tops the previous record of 14.8C. It has provisionally broken the New Year’s Eve record.

“We would expect that to climb further and reach temperatures we saw yesterday of around 15.5C.”

There will be rain in some parts of the UK in the evening, with some drizzle expected across parts of eastern and southern England and North Wales.

But the overall picture is “exceptionally mild”, with unseasonably warm temperatures of 14.5C in Hawarden, North Wales, and 14.2C in Yeovil, Somerset, reported on Friday morning, forecasters said.

It comes after what is likely to have been Britain’s dullest December since 1956 with less than 27 hours of sunlight across the country on average.

There had been just 26.6 hours of sunshine over 30 days – 38% less than the national average for this time of year, the Met Office said.

This month is therefore in the running to become one of the 10 dreariest Decembers on record.

Britain’s dullest December was in 1956, when there were 19.5 hours of sunlight across the country on average. The brightest was in 2001 with 64 hours of sunshine on average across the UK.