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Climate Crisis: UK record-high temperature for December of 18.7 °C in Scottish Highlands

The record high measurement will be quality controlled and if validated would be the highest temperature officially recorded in the UK during the month of December. This news comes as meteorologists predict that next year will continue the global warming trend with temperatures again likely to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels. According to the Met Office, 2020 will likely be 1.11C warmer than the average between 1850-1900.

UK record high temperature recorded in Scotland (Image: Express)

The year ahead is set to extend the series of the warmest years on record to six in a row.

Scientists say the strongest factor causing the rise is greenhouse gas emissions.

The average temperature for the Highlands at this time of year is 0C (32F) at night.

Meteorologists put the record down to a weather process called the Foehn effect, where rain falls on one side of a mountain and warm air currents form on the other.

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Achary in the Scottish Highlands (Image: Google)

When the moist air travels over high ground such as a mountain, it is forced to rise up over the mountain and then condenses, forming cloud and rain.

Rain falls on the top or the windward side of the mountain but the other side is much drier. Dry air heats quicker so as it descends the leeward side it warms up drastically.

The previous record for a December day in Britain of 18.3C (64.9F) was recorded on December 2, 1948 in Achnashellach, also in the Highlands.

This year’s high was also the warmest December day since 2016, when 17C (62.6F) was recorded on December 7 at Hawarden, Flintshire.

Before that, the next warmest December temperature was the 16.1C (61F) recorded back in 1925 at Usk, Monmouthshire, and Wistanstow, Shropshire.

In the UK, notable Foehn events tend to occur across the Highlands where the moist prevailing westerly winds encounter high ground along Scotland’s west coast.

This results in a marked contrast in weather – with the west being subjected to wet weather, while the lower lying east enjoys the warmth and sunshine of the effect.

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Overnight on Saturday into Sunday, mild air from Africa pushed across the UK, and as the air travelled from the south west over the UK, it rose up and lost its moisture.

This meant the other side of the hills ended up with drier air. Daytime temperatures on Saturday in the UK peaked at 12.9C (55.2F) at Bala in Gwynedd, North Wales.

It comes after the UK recorded its hottest ever temperature in July of 38.7C (101.7F) in Cambridge, beating the previous UK record of 38.5C (101.3F), set in Kent in 2003.

More to follow….

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