Today is the warmest December 19th ever recorded in Norfolk

Sheep grazing on land adjacent to Caistor St Edmund church, south of Norwich in the mild weather. Ph

Sheep grazing on land adjacent to Caistor St Edmund church, south of Norwich in the mild weather. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

December could be the mildest across a large part of England since records began more than 350 years ago, forecasters have said.

A blooming daffodil on Vauxhall Street, Norwich in the unusually mild December weather. Picture: ANT

A blooming daffodil on Vauxhall Street, Norwich in the unusually mild December weather. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Temperatures were already around 16C in Norfolk on Saturday morning.

Dan Holley, from forecaster Weatherquest, said a reading of 15.8C was recorded at Santon Downham at 9am on Saturday.

It makes it the warmest recorded temperature on December 19 in Norfolk - beating a high of 15.5C in Hemsby in 1993.

The warmest average for the month under the Central England Temperature series was 8.1C in 1934 and 1974, said MeteoGroup senior forecaster Julian Mayes.

Blossom on a tree in the graveyard of St Stephens Church, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

Blossom on a tree in the graveyard of St Stephens Church, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

'The average this month is currently 9.3C - so well above, though we do think temperatures will come down a bit from Sunday,' he said. 'But there is still a chance that the record will be broken.'

The Central England Temperature series records the day/night average and began in 1659.

Most Read

Mr Mayes said the highest December temperature recorded in London was 17.2C - and that could be threatened on Saturday.

'We are looking at maximum temperatures of 16C to 17C, from London up to East Anglia and the East Midlands,' he said.

A band of tropical air coming off the Atlantic from the south west is behind the unseasonal conditions, and temperatures have been edging towards the all-time December high of 18.3C, set on December 2 in 1948 in the Highlands.

The weather has been so mild that daffodils have been flowering as far north as Chester, and in Northern Ireland.

The Met Office has said it is the fourth mildest start to December across the UK since 1960.

The month has also been characterised by wet weather in the north west.

Areas such as Snowdonia and the Lake District have seen rainfall of 500mm (nearly 20 inches) in the month so far - almost equivalent to a year's worth of rain for London and East Anglia.

•You send your photos of the warm weather to iwitness24.co.uk