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UK winter weather could be milder than average according to early predictions released by the University of Reading





Suggestions that the UK may be in for a milder winter could be welcome news to households already trying to resist switching on the central heating.

An early forecast by the University of Reading's flagship meteorological department has found that a relatively mild season may lay ahead.

Despite household bills having been frozen by the government, and £400 in energy credits set to land on bills in monthly instalments between now and March, bitterly cold temperatures in the coming months would still risk pushing bills far past what households are expecting to pay.

Those avoiding switching on the heating may be glad to hear a milder winter may lay ahead. Image: iStock.
Those avoiding switching on the heating may be glad to hear a milder winter may lay ahead. Image: iStock.

With gas and electric prices having risen this Saturday, and a typical yearly energy bill, for a typical use household, thought to now be around £2,500, investigations by Dr Christopher O'Reilly who has studied climate models and the factors around the globe that can influence a UK winter, could bring some heart-warming news.

His model, which forecasts that temperatures between November and February may be above average, have been published in Reading's latest weather and climate blog and - if shown to be true - could save the country millions of pounds.

He writes: "The price of utilities has risen dramatically over the last year for people, businesses and organisations in the UK. As we move towards winter there is great concern about the effect of these price rises on people’s lives. In the UK, winter temperatures have a strong impact on the demand for gas and electricity.

Is the UK in for a mild winter? Image: iStock.
Is the UK in for a mild winter? Image: iStock.

"A winter with a 1 degree temperature anomaly results in roughly a daily average gas demand anomaly of 100 GWh over a winter season. In monetary terms, based on the UK October gas price cap, this equates to about £1 billion for each 1 degree UK temperature anomaly. The numbers are pretty big, and the stakes are pretty high."

In December 2021, according to the Met Office, the UK mean temperature was 5.3C, which was 1.1C above the 1991-2020 long-term average while January this year saw average temperatures of 4.7C a rise of 0.8C above the country's long term average.

While, Dr O'Reilly points out, experts cannot predict the weather on a particular day when looking many months ahead, determining average conditions with specific modelling is possible.

"Milder conditions would certainly be welcome this winter in the UK so it’s positive that the forecasts and drivers seem to point in this direction" he added.

Gas and electric bills were raised on October 1
Gas and electric bills were raised on October 1

However his forecast, which if proved to be correct could result in huge savings for people, does come with a downside and that is more rain for the country.

"So milder conditions might be on the cards for the UK this winter, which would be good news. But warmer winters also tend to be wetter here in the UK, so at least we’ll still have that to moan about" he added.



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