Daffodils bloom in December! Mild winter send nature into overdrive

Daffodils are blooming with unseasonable temperatures which could reach 13C (55F) in some parts of the country this weekend.

The spring flowers, which normally flower in March or April, were seen in bloom in Torquay, Devon. The seaside town has also seen higher temperatures.

It comes as forecasters told how New Year revellers can look forward to a mild start to 2019 after the country enjoys warmer conditions than Turkey and Greece – although cloudy skies could obscure firework displays. 

Bright yellow daffodils were seen in Torquay, Devon. The spring flowers are in bloom with unseasonable temperatures which could reach 13C (55F) in some parts of the country this weekend [File photo]

Bright yellow daffodils were seen in Torquay, Devon. The spring flowers are in bloom with unseasonable temperatures which could reach 13C (55F) in some parts of the country this weekend [File photo]

Bright yellow daffodils were seen in Torquay, Devon. The spring flowers are in bloom with unseasonable temperatures which could reach 13C (55F) in some parts of the country this weekend [File photo]

Despite the mild weather, flight passengers could face disruption as motorists endure a dangerous commute tonight and tomorrow morning amid warnings of heavy fog.

The Met Office has imposed a warning of dense fog forming and expanding over southern parts of England from 5pm this afternoon until 11am tomorrow – with fears visibility could drop to less than 300ft (100m) in places.

Forecasters have told of slower journey times with delays to train services possible – and even flight disruption, with London Gatwick, Southampton, Bournemouth, Bristol and Exeter airports all within the warning area.

The warning covers the eight counties of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Wiltshire and Somerset – with forecasters saying the fog is most likely to persist in the South West into tomorrow morning. 

The Met Office has imposed a warning of dense fog forming and expanding over southern parts of England from 5pm this afternoon until 11am tomorrow. It comes as forecasters told how New Year revellers can look forward to a mild start to 2019, with people pictured enjoying the warm weather in Lyme Regis, Dorset, today

The Met Office has imposed a warning of dense fog forming and expanding over southern parts of England from 5pm this afternoon until 11am tomorrow. It comes as forecasters told how New Year revellers can look forward to a mild start to 2019, with people pictured enjoying the warm weather in Lyme Regis, Dorset, today

The Met Office has imposed a warning of dense fog forming and expanding over southern parts of England from 5pm this afternoon until 11am tomorrow. It comes as forecasters told how New Year revellers can look forward to a mild start to 2019, with people pictured enjoying the warm weather in Lyme Regis, Dorset, today

Families enjoy a day at the beach in Lyme Regis today as they take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather

Families enjoy a day at the beach in Lyme Regis today as they take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather

Families enjoy a day at the beach in Lyme Regis today as they take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather

Today’s weather for Britain will be settled with temperatures expected to be around average – although it will be foggy tonight

Temperatures across Britain will be well above average for the time of year this weekend – with 55F (13C) possible

Temperatures across Britain will be well above average for the time of year, with Sunday predicted to be warmer than many European holiday destinations, as Istanbul only makes it to 45F (7C) and Athens to 54F (12C).

Forecasters expect this year to end with temperatures of up to 55F (13C) in southern England – and even Scotland seeing highs of 48F (9C) – along with cloudy skies and only a few patches of drizzle over higher ground.

It has remained fairly dry across the country in recent days, which looks set to continue for the next week. The Met Office said changeable weather from the Atlantic was being kept at bay by high pressure above Britain. 

Temperature highs and lows this Christmas

BOXING DAY

High: 55.2F (12.9C), Tain

Low: 28.8F (-1.8C), Fyvie Castle

CHRISTMAS DAY

High: 56.5F (13.6C), Achnagart

Low: 16.9F (-8.4C), Aboyne

CHRISTMAS EVE

High: 54F (12.2C), Isles of Scilly

Low: 21.2F (-6C), Tyndrum

It comes after a mild Christmas Day and Boxing Day which saw highs of about 55F (13C) – both days in the Scottish Highlands – compared to the average for this time of year of about 46F (8C) to 48F (9C).

Met Office forecaster Dean Hall said: ‘New Year’s Eve will generally be quite cloudy and relatively mild for the time of year, nothing exceptional but certainly mild. 

‘There is an area of high pressure to the south of the UK keeping things stable but there is still a fair amount of cloud around bringing some patches of rain to the north and west.’

He continued: ‘The north of the British Isles will be a bit more more unsettled, we will see a westerly wind, so it will be quite fresh and gusty at times.’

Mr Hall said the UK was currently ‘sandwiched’ between an area of high pressure to the south and low pressure to the far north. ‘It’s that area of high pressure that is keeping things settled and those patches of rain will mainly be over the hills, moors and over the Pennines,’ he said.

He added that, despite calm conditions elsewhere, the Shetlands and the Orkney Isles could expect some fairly windy weather. ‘It will be fairly mild everywhere as far as temperatures go. 

Sisters Laura (left) and Caryn Pitkethly (right) take part in the Boxing Day dip at Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside yesterday

Sisters Laura (left) and Caryn Pitkethly (right) take part in the Boxing Day dip at Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside yesterday

Sisters Laura (left) and Caryn Pitkethly (right) take part in the Boxing Day dip at Tynemouth beach in North Tyneside yesterday

Tom Southern and his six-year-old son Harris enjoy going sledging in the Cairngorm snow on Boxing Day yesterday

Tom Southern and his six-year-old son Harris enjoy going sledging in the Cairngorm snow on Boxing Day yesterday

Tom Southern and his six-year-old son Harris enjoy going sledging in the Cairngorm snow on Boxing Day yesterday

‘It will likely be in double figures in the south, 10C (50F), 12C (54F) or even 13C (55F) in some sheltered spots,’ he said. You have to bear in mind the average is 46F (8C) to 48F (9C).’

Mr Hall said it was likely to be a bit colder further north, but still with highs of 10C to 11C (51.8F). 

Scotland saw the highest temperature recorded in the UK yesterday, with 55.2F (12.9C) at Tain. Meanwhile the highest in England was at Leeming in North Yorkshire where the thermometer hit 53.4F (11.9C).

The Met Office’s Helen Roberts said: ‘Boxing Day was a little bit warmer than average but was fairly unremarkable. It was cloudy but fairly dry for most, with a little brightness in the north East and a bit of rain in the North West.’  

The hottest Boxing Day was in 2011 when the Aberdeenshire town of Banff hit 61F (16.1C), while the coldest was -0.4F (-18C) in Tomalin, Inverness, in 1995. Yesterday’s UK low was 28.8F (-1.8C) at Fyvie Castle in Scotland.

A host of golden daffodils! Bright yellow flowers emerge three months too early in Devon seaside town

They’re famously a harbinger of spring but in one corner of Britain the seasons have gone awry as a host of golden daffodils are already in bloom.

The flowers immortalised in verse by Wordsworth have emerged months early in Torquay, Devon – despite it being midwinter. Daffodils are usually supposed to bloom into glorious yellows and oranges in March or April.

Naturalist Steve England said the development was worrying. ‘It’s not just daffodils, there’s so many other things going on,’ he said. ‘Over the last six years it’s become a norm for me to find things that are out of sync.

Daffodils, which were immortalised in verse by Wordsworth, have emerged months early in Torquay, Devon - despite it being midwinter 

Daffodils, which were immortalised in verse by Wordsworth, have emerged months early in Torquay, Devon - despite it being midwinter 

Daffodils, which were immortalised in verse by Wordsworth, have emerged months early in Torquay, Devon – despite it being midwinter 

So, for instance, right now, in early December, the dawn chorus in the woods has already started, and it normally isn’t heard until early March. I was in the woods yesterday, and it is so mild in there, that plants think spring has started already.

‘Song thrushes were singing, and they are one of the first spring song birds making their mating calls. At the same time, winter fruiting mushrooms are out, and they wouldn’t normally be seen until late December.’

Mr England said it was the variable weather that was throwing Mother Nature into flux. ‘We get cold snaps and warm snaps and the plants don’t know what is happening – they haven’t got a calendar, they react to their environment,’ he said.

‘I’ve seen raspberry plants in fruit, but the problem is that there’s nothing to pollinate these, there’s no insects around, so next year’s fruit and plants will be badly affected by this. If you want evidence of climate change it’s all around us, it’s here and it’s real.’

Daffodils are usually supposed to bloom into glorious yellows and oranges in March or April - but are already on display in Torquay

Daffodils are usually supposed to bloom into glorious yellows and oranges in March or April - but are already on display in Torquay

Daffodils are usually supposed to bloom into glorious yellows and oranges in March or April – but are already on display in Torquay

In 2015 gardening and nature expert Victoria Summerley said it was not a good sign of the health of Mother Nature in this country to see daffodils come out too soon.

‘Many of the plants we grow in our gardens – not to mention our woodlands, meadows and fields – have evolved to take advantage of temperature seasonality,’ she explained.

‘They need a period of dormancy during the colder months in the same way we need a decent night’s sleep in order to perform well the following day,’ she added.

This autumn’s temperatures were not particularly warmer than the average, but there was an unseasonably warm spell during October.

Link hienalouca.com

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