New Year’s Eve 2021: Met Office weather forecast for 31 December - and will it be dry for fireworks?

Will you need waterproofs and an umbrella to herald in 2022 - or will it be dry? Here’s what you need to know

New Year’s Eve is now almost upon us, and you might well be wondering what the weather will be like as we welcome in 2022.

Most festivities in England are set to go ahead after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his Government would take no further action to stop the spread of the Omicron Covid strain.

But the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all introduced tougher Covid rules, meaning big public parties like Hogmanay and many other fireworks displays and festivities have had to be cancelled.

So, for those revellers who are still able and willing to go out on New Year’s Eve, will it be dry - or will you need an umbrella?

Here’s what you need to know.

While many big New Year’s Eve fireworks displays have been cancelled, the weather could be wet for those that do go ahead (image: AFP/Getty Images)

What has the weather been like in the lead up to NYE?

There has been a mixed bag of weather conditions since Christmas, with heavy snow for many in England and Scotland, sunny spells in the north of Scotland and wet conditions for most other parts of the UK.

So severe was the snow in some areas that the Met Office was forced to issue yellow weather warnings for blizzards on Christmas and Boxing Day.

Brits are in for a soggy lead up to New Year’s Eve (image: AFP/Getty Images)

While snowy conditions are not on the cards for the UK on Thursday (30 December), the organisation has predicted there will be rainy and windy weather across much of the UK.

This rainfall will be particularly heavy in Scotland and Northern Ireland, before clearing to leave brighter conditions in the afternoon.

For much of the country, temperatures are set to be well above average for December.

Highs of 14 degrees Celsius have been mooted for London and East Anglia, with all but the Highlands and Shetland Islands reaching double figures.

These unusual temperatures will remain consistent throughout Thursday and overnight into Friday (31 December).

There could be blustery conditions for people living in coastal areas or on higher ground (image: Getty Images)

What about on New Year’s Eve?

The Met Office has said that New Year’s Eve’s temperatures will not be quite as mild as Thursday’s - falling a degree or two across the UK.

But parts of the South-East and London could still hit 2011’s New Year’s Eve record of 14.8 degrees Celsius, according to Met Office chief meteorologist Neil Armstrong.

“The position of the jet stream and a low-pressure system to the west of Ireland over the next few days mean that a large amount of unusually warm air will be pulled up over the UK,” he said.

“While this means a very mild start to the New Year for most in the UK it will soon be replaced by more ‘normal’ January conditions. These warm spells in winter are consistent with what we would expect with climate change, and while cold snaps cannot be ruled out, we would expect above-average temperatures like this to become a more frequent occurrence as the global climate warms.”

Despite the potential for record temperatures, the UK is set to wake up to a mix of wet and cloudy conditions on New Year’s Eve.

Cumbria and Northumberland, as well as South and central Scotland, will be wet for most of the day, while the cloud might thin out in many areas of the rest of the country by midday.

There will also be strong winds in coastal areas and on higher ground.

Conditions are then likely to stay dry overnight, although you may need to pack some waterproofs just in case localised rain falls on your fireworks display.

New Year’s Day itself could also be a record-breaking day for temperatures, with the 15.6 degrees seen in 1916 in Bude, Cornwall potentially set to be surpassed.

But the weather looks set to become colder during the first week of 2022.

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