Records from Wellington confirm that 2022 was the warmest ever recorded in the UK despite the freezing temperatures that saw the coldest spell in December since 2010.

The Wellington Weekly News weather correspondent Simon Ratsey has analysed the statistic for December and concludes: "Despite the very cold start, December’s mean temperature of 4.2C (39.6F) in Wellington was less than a degree below average, so 2022 did indeed displace 2014 as the warmest year on record. It was also one of the sunniest years ever, and slightly drier than normal in spite of the exceptionally wet fourth quarter."

Mr Ratsey says the lowest temperature during the cold spell in early December hit a low point of minus 8.2C in the early hours of December 15, the lowest since Christmas 2010.

He adds: "By way of compensation, it was a brilliantly sunny day and the next day almost as good, bar a few wisps of high cloud. That brought to an end the coldest week we’ve experienced since 2010, with the weather forecasters confidently predicting a change to warmer conditions before Christmas.

"That warming-up was nothing short of dramatic. In Wellington the temperature had dropped to minus 4.3C (25F) by bedtime on December 17. Overnight, a breeze picked up from the south, importing air of subtropical origin and raising the temperature to 13.3C (56F) in little more than twenty-four hours – a truly astonishing change.

"With it came a lot of rain, 58mm (2.3 inches) landing in the Wellington rain gauge over a forty-eight hour period, and bringing the cold dry fortnight to an emphatic close. A maximum temperature of 13.7C (56.7F) on December 19 was notably high for the time of year.

"From then to the end of the month it rained every day, sometimes very heavily, although a few days, Boxing Day included, offered some sunshine. At times it was also very windy, but daytime temperatures were mostly well above normal and nights frost-free. New Year’s Eve was wet all day, bringing the month’s total to 139mm (5.5 inches), nearly 20% above average."

The Met Office said at the end of December that its provisional figures showed 2022 was the warmest on record ever, beating the previous high set in 2014.

It said: "2022 will see the highest annual average temperature across the UK, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 when the average was 9.88C.

"Since 1884, all the ten years recording the highest annual temperature have occurred from 2003. The final provisional figure for 2022 will be available at the conclusion of the year and will then be subject to further quality control and a verification process.

"2022 will also be the warmest year on record in the 364-year Central England temperature series from 1659, the world’s longest instrumental record of temperature."