UK weather forecast: Met Office reveals why New Year’s Eve will be hottest on record

The UK is enjoying unseasonably warm weather this week which is set to continue into the weekend, with the Met Office expecting the record temperature for New Year’s Eve to be broken

People are set to enjoy unusually warm weather on New Year's Eve
People are set to enjoy unusually warm weather on New Year’s Eve

The Met Office has revealed why New Year’s Eve will be hottest on record – with warm air from the Azores and the central Atlantic billowing into the UK.

Brits can enjoy some unseasonably warm weather before a possible record-breaking New Year’s Eve due to warm air sweeping in from the mid-Atlantic.

It may be too soon to put away the winter jackets as freezing temperatures and snow are due to return in January but for the coming days the mercury is likely to be in double figures.

Warm south-westerly winds from the Azores have arrived in the UK, replacing the cooler northerly winds which are typical for this time of year, say forecasters.

The weather conditions are due to warm air sweeping in from the mid-Atlantic, Met Office explained

And a continued period of milder weather means the record for the highest temperature on New Year’s Eve in the UK – 14.8C at Colwyn Bay in North Wales in 2011 – could be broken.

The mild temperatures are expected to last until the end of the week, before dropping to around 6C in Scotland and the north of England, and around 9C in the south of England from Bank Holiday morning.

Craig Snell, forecaster with the Met Office, said the milder temperatures were “all to do with the wind direction”.

He said: “Earlier in the month we had some cold northerly winds, but from today the winds are coming in from the South West, you can trace the air back to the Azores and the central Atlantic.

“It’s still pretty warm there at this time of year, so we are tapping into the milder air that’s being dragged up to the UK.

It has been an unseasonably warm week but colder temperatures are due to return in January


Getty Images)

“It means it’s very mild for the time of year, particularly in the South West of the UK.”

Temperatures on Wednesday are expected to have hit 16C along the south coast, but still some way short of the December record of 18.7C experienced in 2019.

Mr Snell said: “I think people will continue to feel how mild it is over the coming days.

The Met Office has said that there could be a new record temperature for New Year’s Eve


AFP via Getty Images)

“We are keeping a close eye on the New Year’s Eve weather, because that record (14.8C) is quite under threat.

“But it looks like the transition (to cooler weather) will be on Bank Holiday morning.

“We will see the winds switch around so temperatures will return down to normal, with a smidgen below normal in the north of the UK.”

It came as the Environment Agency issued more than 30 flood alerts on Wednesday morning, largely across central and south-west England, after heavy rainfall overnight.

UK forecast for the next 5 days


Cloudy and very mild with rain and drizzle across England and Wales, most persistent across western hills. Heavy showers across Northern Ireland and Scotland clearing to leave a brighter afternoon. Windy for many.


Rain, heavy at times, moving northwards across northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Further rain moving eastwards across southern England and Wales. Windy in the west with coastal gales. Mild.


Rain persisting across Scotland but slowly easing. Brighter skies developing elsewhere. Windy across central parts with a risk of gales on coasts and hills at first. Remaining very mild.

Outlook for Saturday to Monday:

Mild and breezy on Saturday with some rain for a time towards the northwest. Thereafter temperatures remain nearer normal, with further rain and showers, mostly across western areas.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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