Northern Ireland

Warmest December day since 1994 recorded

Helen's Bay beach Image copyright Mervyn Robb
Image caption It wasn't quite warm enough for anyone to go in for a dip at Helen's Bay on Wednesday

With temperatures reaching 15.9C at Magilligan in County Londonderry on Wednesday, it has been the warmest December day since 1994.

That temperature was just shy of the record 16C recorded at Murlough in County Down on 11 December 1994.

The mild weather is being driven by warmer air coming from south of the Azores in the mid-Atlantic.

It is not unusual to have temperatures in the double digits at this time of year.

"In December last year, amidst the wind, rain, and storms we actually had the mildest December since the 1980s," said John Wylie from the Met Office.

"Temperatures of 14C and 15C were fairly common place."

Rewind six years and we were just entering the coldest winter on record with widespread disruption due to heavy snow.

It's set to remain mild for the rest of the week according to the Met Office, although temperatures are unlikely to be as high as Wednesday's.

Will we get a white Christmas though? It's still much too early to say.