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It’s the warmest New Year’s Day on record

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Today is the warmest New Year’s Day on record after the mercury hit 16.2C (61.1F) in London. 

That made the capital one degree warmer than Death Valley in California, famously known as the hottest place in the world, and more than two degrees warmer than the South of France destinations Saint-Tropez and Nice.

The temperature was recorded in St James’s Park and easily beats the previous New Year’s day record of 15.6C (60F) from 1916 in Bude, Cornwall.

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Although the high was actually reached overnight, the Met Office uses the 9am-9am time period for historical records.

The UK is continuing to experience “exceptionally mild” weather and the Met Office forecaster Craig Snell confirmed it was the first time since December 2016 that “we have had three consecutive days reach 15C”.

The warmer-than-usual start to the year saw people happily take part in traditional New Year’s Day swims across the country.

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