UK
23/01/2012 07:45 GMT | Updated 23/01/2012 07:48 GMT

UK Weather: Warmest Winter On Record As Britain Gears Up For Weekend 'Hotter Than Turkey'

Britain is predicted to be hotter than Turkey this week as reports suggest this winter is likely to be the warmest since records began.

Sunshine over the weekend saw walkers make the most of the clement climes, while temperatures hit 13.5 C in Otterbourne, Hants on Saturday. The average temperature expected for January is 6.1C.

Although the UK saw its first frosts last week, the brief cold snap did not last as long as predicted, as winds carried the bitter blast over to Scandinavia, leaving Britain to bask in altogether milder climes.

As January draws to a close, Met Office forecasts seem unlikely to contradict predictions that what is traditionally the coldest month of the year will be the warmest since records began, more than 350 years ago.

Britain's mild winter weather has seen snowdrops, daffodils and hazel catkins flower around Britain, and conservation charity The Woodland Trust is investigating whether frogs have also been fooled into spawning early.

This week Met Office forecasts show a sunny start across the UK, with temperatures of 6-7 C in Southern parts of Britain. Further north, it is a couple of degrees colder, but consistent with wintry climes expected at this time of year.

On Tuesday yellow “be aware” warnings of snow have been issued across Northern parts of Scotland and North Eastern parts of England.

However the warnings are focussed on higher ground, and the white stuff is unlikely to last, as warmer temperatures turn snow to sleet and then rain by the time commuters are sat at their desks.

Temperatures hit double figures in Wednesday’s weather forecast with much of the country seeing highs of 10 or 11 degrees, putting Britain on course to beat the last winter’s average of 37.5F (3.1C)

The warmest winter on record was the 1868-9, where temperatures in central England were recorded at 6.8C.