Last week marked the meteorological start of winter and whilst media stories have been circulating about how we’re due the coldest, snowiest winter since the same thing was suggested by similar people last year and the year before, there are no real signals that this one will be any colder, snowier or indeed warmer, wetter or windier than usual.
There’s no denying though that the cold weather over the past week or so has come as a bit of a shock to the system, following the incredibly mild autumn.
In fact, eleven of the past twelve months have now been warmer than normal across the UK, with only August bucking this trend.
September was warmer than the previous month in many areas, whilst October and November were also consistently mild, with night time frosts limited to just a handful of occasions.
Across central southern and south-east England, mean temperatures were nearly 2.5C above the 30 year average in October and then around 1.5C above in November.
A remarkable new Hallowe’en record was set when Gravesend, Kent and Kew Gardens in London both hit a sizzling 23.6C, a value the south-east of England could reasonably expect on a warm day in July or August.
This year is now on course to be the country’s warmest since records began in 1659.
Precipitation has been another key feature of 2014.
Following the rainiest winter in the England and Wales series dating back to 1766, the year as a whole will be one of the wettest since records began.
Following a very dry September, when little more than 30% of the expected rain fell in the Bucks region, both October and November saw around 150% of average rainfall.
And so what about the prospects for the rest of December?
Well, it’s still too early to answer the age-old question of ‘Will it be a White Christmas?’, but it does look like staying rather chilly and unsettled over the coming days.
Bright and blustery today and tomorrow, and then wet and potentially very windy later tomorrow night and for a while on Friday.
Sunshine at times over the weekend, but staying quite windy and chilly.