Temperatures reached 15.8C in Somerset earlier and are expected to continue to rise across England.
Britain has seen its hottest New Year’s Eve ever with temperatures reaching 15.8C (60.4F) in the west of England, the Met Office has said.
The previous record of 14.8C (58.6F) in Colwyn Bay, Wales, in 2011 was toppled this afternoon in Somerset.
Temperatures will continue to rise across England before dropping at night as the UK rings in 2022.
Areas of southern and eastern England including the West Country and London will see the mildest weather.
The Met Office said the extremely mild spell was driven by a flow of warm, moist air from the Canary Islands.
— Met Office (@metoffice)
Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said the first reading taken at Ryehill in East Yorkshire at 11:00 GMT had “provisionally broken the New Year’s Eve record”.
“Our station at Ryehill, a small village in East Yorkshire has recorded 14.9C (58.8F) today, which tops the previous record of 14.8C (58.6F).”
That figure has since risen to 15.8C (60.4F) and was last recorded at the Met Office’s station in Merryfield in southwest Somerset.
The Met Office said the weather was forecast to get cooler from Tuesday, potentially bringing wintry showers and frosts.
Forget your fleece and coat – it’s liberating to take a pleasant New Year’s Eve stroll in just your T-shirt.
But it doesn’t bode well for the future.
The Met Office say the UK’s record temperatures have all been elevated by manmade climate change which has raised temperatures globally by 1.1C.
Cold records are still being broken, as in the Beast from the East storm in 2018.
But the Met Office say warm weather records are being broken nine times more frequently – a clear sign of an over-heating planet.
The winter wildfires in Colorado are even arguably more alarming than unseasonal warmth in the UK.
It’s too soon to say what role human-driven climate change may have played in the disaster – but it’s the latest episode of regular weather patterns being disrupted.
Meanwhile, different regions of Alaska are experiencing record high and low temperatures at the same time.
Climate scientists warn that we can expect many more extremes as the planet continues to heat. And attempts to reduce emissions have been undermined by several factors, including President Biden’s struggle with climate policies in the USA.
The highest UK daytime temperature recorded on New Year’s Day is 15.6C (60F) in Bude, Cornwall, in 1916.
Met Office chief forecaster Steve Ramsdale said: “The current weather pattern is bringing extremely mild conditions to the UK – perhaps reaching around 16.0C (60.8F) in some parts.
“We also expect some very mild overnight temperatures as well with minimum temperature records being broken in places.”
The Met Office added the warm spell has the potential to challenge records for New Year’s Day, creating the unusual situation of one weather system perhaps breaking weather records for two days in separate calendar years.