12 December 2008
Temperatures from the Met Office have revealed that the UK has had the coldest start to winter in over 30 years. The UK average temperature for the first third of December has been only 1.7 °C compared to the long-term average of 4.7 °C.
The cold temperatures are in stark contrast to the recent run of very mild winters that have been dominant across the UK. The last time the UK average temperatures gave such a cold start to December was in 1976 when the average temperature was a chilly 0.8 °C.
The Met Office seasonal forecast predicted the cold start to the winter season with milder conditions expected during January and February – although still with the chance of cold weather at times.
The colder weather is set to continue into next week. Chief Forecaster at the Met Office Nick Grahame said: "The start of the weekend will bring a spell of wet and windy weather as milder Atlantic air attempts to push across the country. However, colder air looks set to win the battle again which means that frost and ice will become hazards with the risk of snow in places".
Long-term average is for 1971-2000