This time last year we started importing some very cold air from Russia and Eastern Europe, ahead of the Beast from the East that brought snow 26-28th February and then a bitterly cold finale to Winter and the start of the meteorological Spring 2018.
In complete contrast, this year's final week of February looks set to be one of the warmest on record, with temperatures well above the seasonal average of around 7-8 celsius.
On Thursday 21st Feb we reached 15.5ºC in Nantwich, as southerly winds began pushing a much warmer airmass from the south. Over the next 5 days temperatures could reach a few degrees higher than this - along with a mainly dry and bright weather story with high pressure sitting very close to the E/SE of the UK for the weekend and into next week.
The February record for warmth for the UK is 19.7ºC, set in 1998. But we have to go back 67 years for the North West's highest temperature. The mercury climbed to 17.2ºC at Whitworth Park, Manchester on 25th February 1952!
Whether we beat the record or not, the air is exceptionally mild for the time of year. As high pressure tries to kill off any approaching weather fronts from the Atlantic, a good few days of mainly dry and fine weather is in store for the Granada region.
Be mindful it's still Winter - nights will remain chilly under clearer skies and as winds ease into early next week we could see some morning mist and fog.