UK weather: January 2021 was coldest in 10 years with more wintry conditions this week

January 2021 was the coldest the UK has seen in 10 years, with further wintry conditions expected this week.

The average temperature last month was 2.2C, the Met Office said. This makes it the coldest January since 2010, when the average was 0.9C.

The coldest January on record was 1963, when conditions averaged -1.9C.

This week there are weather warnings for snow, ice and rain stretching from the Scottish Highlands down to the Midlands and across to Northern Ireland until Sunday.

An amber Met Office warning for snow is in place until 1pm on Tuesday across the north of England, with between one and six inches falling in Derbyshire, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

The M62 had to be closed in Rochdale overnight after a vehicle caught fire, and in Huddersfield when a lorry jack-knifed in the snow.

Forecasters warn that snowy and icy conditions could risk motorists becoming stranded.

Northern Trains is urging people not to travel on any routes in the Calder Valley after several trees fell onto the line between Halifax and Rochdale.

The snow is set to move further northwards as the week goes on, with weather warnings largely confined to Scotland by the weekend, where up to eight inches could fall on higher ground.

Elsewhere there is a yellow warning for rain and snow in County Derry and County Antrim in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, which could result in flooding, the Met Office warns.

Today, temperatures across the UK are milder than in January, with 3C expected in Edinburgh, 5C in Belfast, 6C in Manchester and as high as 13C in London and Cardiff.

Heavy rain has caused parts of the River Thames to flood in Berkshire, with more than 50 flood warnings and 150 alerts issued across England by the Environment Agency.

Commenting on last month’s conditions, Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre (NCIC), said: “January 2021 has been dominated by colder-than-average weather with only brief milder interludes, but what does this cold winter mean in the context of climate change and a warming planet?

“Well, a winter month as cold or colder than January 2021 used to occur in approximately seven out of 10 winters through the 20th Century.”

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