Topsy-turvy weather sees Northern Ireland facing record-breaking temperatures for December
Northern Ireland could enjoy record-breaking temperatures this weekend as low pressure systems from the Atlantic bring unseasonably warm weather.
If the mercury rises above 16C, we could beat the record set in 1994 for the warmest December.
The highest December maximum in Northern Ireland was 16C, and the highest December minimum was 14.3C, according to the BBC weather forecaster Barra Best.
While we may be enjoying T-shirt weather, forecasters are warning that we may still need the brollies as well, with the low pressure bringing spells of rain.
Gemma Plumb, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said the Atlantic low coming in over the week could bring showers or longer spells of rain, particularly tonight and into Friday - but nothing too substantial.
Yesterday saw highs of 12C, but the temperature is expected to rise through the rest of the week with highs of 13C or 14C, the expert added.
"It could peak as high as 16C locally on Saturday, with temperatures far above what is normal for this time of year," she said.
"Low pressure systems are coming in off the Atlantic, bringing milder south-westerly winds. However, it's not unusual to see milder temperatures through the winter.
"It looks like temperatures could remain above average through a lot of the rest of December, although there could be chillier interludes at times."
The Weather Channel said a number of areas across the UK could break records if they reach more than 16C, with the warmest places likely to be parts of north and east Wales to Cheshire, parts of north-east Devon, north-east England and the north-east Midlands from Nottinghamshire to Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
"The warmest day looks like Saturday, but this Thursday is also incredibly mild too," meteorologist Leon Brown said. "Much of western Europe will be mild, with Spain and even southern France seeing temperatures reach the 20s and feeling quite warm."
The Met Office said today would be mainly cloudy, with patchy light rain at times, but with drier, brighter, spells. The best of these will be towards the north and east, and it will be exceptionally mild with a maximum temperature of 13°C.
The outlook for Thursday to Saturday is mild and windy throughout, with heavier rain turning showery later. Friday will see a brighter start with rain later, lasting for much of Saturday.
Meanwhile, although a white Christmas is looking increasingly unlikely, on Christmas Day we will be guaranteed a full Moon for the first time in 38 years.
"We haven't seen a full Moon on Christmas Day since 1977, and it won't happen again until 2034," Kirsty McCabe, senior meteorologist with Weather Channel said.
"Plus, with the Moon rising at sunset and setting at sunrise, it's the only time this month that the Moon will be in the sky for the entire duration of the night.
"What's more, the full Moon in December is also called an Oak Moon or Cold Moon, and signifies the start of winter."