There will be no snow for Birmingham this Christmas with temperatures way above the December average, according to forecasters.
Shoppers out finishing their festive shopping yesterday (Thursday) basked in a high of 13C (55F) – and it could become even warmer with predictions of 14C (57F) on Christmas Day.
It’s all a far cry from this time last year, when the Midlands shivered beneath a think blanket of ice and snow. The average December temperature between 1971 and 2000 was 5.1C (41F).
Brum’s balmy weather is a match for traditional winter hotspots like Benidorm, which is expected to hit just 15C (59F) on Christmas Day.
And Barcelona, Costa Blanca and Faro are also tipped to only marginally beat Birmingham’s temperature.
A spokesman for the Met Office said temperatures were likely to dip to single figures in the West Midlands today, but would rise again before Christmas Day.
A moderate south-westerly wind was said to be bringing the mild weather to the West Midlands.
“This is likely to be one of the warmer Christmases,” the spokesman said.
“It’s certainly going to be very mild, although there’s a possibility there could be showers.
“It is likely to remain unusually warm for the time of year throughout the Christmas holiday period and will become much brighter on Boxing Day.
“It will feel very pleasant.”
More than 320,000 passengers are expected to travel through Birmingham airport over the holiday period.
The huge number of festive travellers will use the airport’s facilities from December 17 to January 2, with 3,000 travellers set to jet off from Birmingham or arrive back on Christmas Day alone.
Sunshine destinations like Alicante, Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, Malaga and the Canary Islands are the top spots with travellers heading for festive fun abroad.
•Thousands of motorists were taking to the region’s roads today with the big festive getaway and last-minute shopping rush well underway.
Retail parks and High Streets were prepared for the rush of Christmas shoppers, while the region’s motorway network was expected to be extra busy this morning.
Most roadworks will be suspended during the Christmas period, but essential maintenance on the M6 will continue near Walsall.
The Merry Hill centre in the Black Country is open until midnight to cater for the surge of shoppers and many stores across the region will be opening their doors early today.
Virgin Trains services from Birmingham will be reduced from early evening tomorrow and the operator will not run any services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. West Midlands travel authority Centro said there would be no buses, Midland Metro or local trains on Christmas Day with a limited Boxing Day service.