UK Weather: Winter is coming after warmer New Year

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December 31 could reach 15C (59F), beating the balmy 14.8C that was set on the last day of 2011. It will stay “on the mild side” this week, the Met Office said.

Widespread rain has meant 42 flood alerts are in place for England. But in January it will be back to a chilly 2-3C at night in the South and even freezing in the North and Scotland.

Met Office meteorologist Craig Snell said: “[After New Year’s Eve] there is a trend for temperatures to return nearer to normal. That’s not surprising as temperatures are way above average.

“For this time of year, if we see any clearer slots at night then that does give some risk for frost, particularly across the northern half of the UK.”

Meanwhile, Sutton Gault Causeway in Ely, Cambridgeshire, was closed after the Ouse Washes Nature Reserve overflowed. 

The Environment Agency said more rain meant it was “closely monitoring the situation”.

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