Mildest December in Wales since 1994

After a stormy start to 2014, the weather has been a little kinder to us recently. There was more rain on Sunday afternoon but Saturday turned out lovely with some beautiful winter sunshine. I took advantage of the fine weather and went back to Merthyr Tydfil to do the walk I filmed for the new series of Weatherman Walking.

The views from the top of Morlais Castle towards the Brecon Beacons were fabulous!

The Brecon Beacons viewed from Morlais Castle.

Looking back, December 2013 was the windiest month since January 1993 and despite all the rain it was the mildest December in Wales since 1994 with only 3.8 days of air frost, the lowest since 1988. However, parts of mid Wales including Llandrindod and the Beacon Beacons had a white Christmas!

The stormy weather was caused by big contrast in temperature over the north Atlantic between cold polar air and warm tropical air. This created a powerful jet stream steering a run of deep areas of low pressure towards the UK.

Winter in the UK has been relatively mild so far, but in the USA and Canada recently it's been extremely cold with blizzards. Some people think that cold, snowy weather in the US could reach us in about a fortnight’s time but this is not the case because it has to cross the Atlantic first. Our coldest weather comes from Russia when there is high pressure over Scandinavia and cold easterly winds.

Looking ahead, there’s no sign of any really cold and wintry weather heading our way. Any snow in the near future will be mainly on higher ground in the north although later in the month cold north-westerly winds may bring a drop in temperature and wintry showers to lower levels.

In the meantime, the next few days will bring further rain and showers at times with some sunshine in between. Wednesday will be the wettest day of the week.

By Tuesday morning temperatures will be close to freezing or below with some frost and a warning of icy patches.

Don’t forget, the next episode of Weatherman Walking is on Friday 17 January, BBC One Wales at 7.30pm with walks on Caldey Island and around Carreg Cennen Castle.