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December 2010 update: Second coldest since 1659

Paul Hudson | 16:54 UK time, Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Met Office provisional figures show that December 2010 with a mean CET temperature of -0.7C was the second coldest since records began in 1659, beaten only by December 1890 which had a mean of -0.8C.

The diagram below shows how the month ranks with other cold Decembers, a truly memorable month climatologically.

December 2010 was also easily the coldest December based on CET minimum temperature data which started in 1878.

December was Leeming's coldest month since records began in 1945. The mean was -1.75C compared to the previous coldest month of February 1963 with a recorded mean of -1.4C.

December 2010 was also a new record for minimum temperatures at Leeming for any month since records began in 1945, with a mean minimum temperature of -5.3C, illustrated below with comparison to the winter months of 1962/1963 - which turned out to be the coldest winter of the last century.


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