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Cold end for 2019 as temperatures fall to 2C with the south facing a New Year’s Eve washout

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The northern half of the UK looks set to be the best place to view fireworks and enjoy fun outdoors this New Year’s Eve, with clear but chilly weather on the cards.

Those in the southern half will have to keep their fingers crossed that the cloud and rain expected during the day clears in time for midnight as forecast.

Crowds of people are gearing up to attend fireworks displays throughout the UK to ring in the new year, including in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool.

People heading to watch the Mayor of London’s annual fireworks display in the capital will face temperatures of about 6C (42.8F), while revellers in Edinburgh and Glasgow can expect the mercury to dip to about 2C (35.6F).

Those in the southern half of the country will have to keep their fingers crossed that the cloud and rain expected during the day clears in time for midnight as forecast. Pictured: The sun rises over South Shields lighthouse in the North East this morning

Those in the southern half of the country will have to keep their fingers crossed that the cloud and rain expected during the day clears in time for midnight as forecast. Pictured: The sun rises over South Shields lighthouse in the North East this morning

Crowds of people are gearing up to attend fireworks displays throughout the UK to ring in the new year, including in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool. Pictured: Chesterton Windmill, in Warwickshire this morning

Crowds of people are gearing up to attend fireworks displays throughout the UK to ring in the new year, including in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool. Pictured: Chesterton Windmill, in Warwickshire this morning

Deer are seen grazing as horses are ridden past in the early morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday

Deer are seen grazing as horses are ridden past in the early morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill warned it would be a chilly end to 2019, despite the recent mild temperatures that were predicted to have continued into the New Year.

Britain saw its hottest ever temperature for this stage of the year on Sunday after a heat bubble from the Azores in Portugal swept across northern Scotland.

‘There will be a bit of a north-south split to the weather,’ he said.

‘It will stay largely clear in the north, and the cloud and rain in the south should clear up. You will need a coat and take precautions because of possible fog in the early hours.’

It comes after a balmy night in the north of Scotland on Sunday morning when a Met Office observation post in Cassley, Sutherland, recorded a temperature of 16.3C (61.3F) at 3am – a UK record for that late in December.

The average temperature for that area in December is zero degrees at night.

People heading to watch the Mayor of London 's annual fireworks display in the capital will face temperatures of about 6C (42.8F), while revellers in Edinburgh and Glasgow can expect the mercury to dip to about 2C (35.6F). Pictured: South Shields lighthouse on the north east coast as the sun rose this morning

People heading to watch the Mayor of London ‘s annual fireworks display in the capital will face temperatures of about 6C (42.8F), while revellers in Edinburgh and Glasgow can expect the mercury to dip to about 2C (35.6F). Pictured: South Shields lighthouse on the north east coast as the sun rose this morning

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A deer is seen breathing in the early morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday. It comes as the temperature starts to plummet across the country

A deer is seen breathing in the early morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday. It comes as the temperature starts to plummet across the country

A stunning red sky over Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, this morning is the perfect backdrop for two birds as they fly above a river at Nene Park

A stunning red sky over Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, this morning is the perfect backdrop for two birds as they fly above a river at Nene Park

Meteorologists put the record down to a weather process called the Foehn effect.

Describing it as ‘pretty exceptional’, Mr Burkill said: We have never recorded a temperature that high this late in the month. What makes it more unusual was the temperature came at 3am.’

It was still short of the record for December, however, which stands at 18.3C (65F) recorded on December 2, 1948, in Achnashellach, in the Highlands of Scotland.

It was a beautiful start to the day just after sunrise in Nene Park, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on what was predicted to be one of the warmest ends to the year, but will now turn colder

It was a beautiful start to the day just after sunrise in Nene Park, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on what was predicted to be one of the warmest ends to the year, but will now turn colder

Cyclists race past a herd of deer as they graze in the morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday

Cyclists race past a herd of deer as they graze in the morning mist in Richmond Park, west London, on Monday

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill warned it would be a chilly end to 2019, despite the recent mild temperatures. Pictured: Chesterton Windmill in Warwickshire this morning

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill warned it would be a chilly end to 2019, despite the recent mild temperatures. Pictured: Chesterton Windmill in Warwickshire this morning

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

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

Overnight on Saturday into Sunday, mild air from Africa pushed across the UK. 

As the air travelled from the south west over the UK, it rose up and lost its moisture. This meant that the other side of the hills ended up with drier air.

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