As the white shroud falls across the UK it may be difficult to believe it but, by some measures, 2014 was actually the warmest year on record in the UK.
According to Met Office data, which stretches back to the 1600s, the temperature is around 1.5 degrees Celsius above the norm for this time of year, a full tenth of a degree higher than the next contender - 2006. We'll have to wait and see, however, as the Met Office is yet to release its final figures.
Against the Met Office’s running averages - 1961 - 1990 and 1981 - 2010, this year is also top of the pile:
What is more, 2015 is expected to be warmer still, with the global average temperature expected to be “between 0.52 °C and 0.76 °C* above the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14.0 °C, with a central estimate of 0.64 °C” according to the Met Office annual global temperature forecast.
Many retailers, including Next, have been blaming unseasonable warmth for drops in sales figures this year, and, perhaps, they had a point after all. Although for many retailers, October was the offending month and it was colder than average.