Balmy times will not last

PROSPECTS of snow before the end of the year are apparently increasing - but you wouldn't know it by today's barmy (or should that be balmy?)warm weather.

PROSPECTS of snow before the end of the year are apparently increasing - but you wouldn't know it by today's barmy (or should that be balmy?)warm weather.

It may be December, but it's 13 degrees C outside, turning nature's world upside down and preventing people getting into the Christmas spirit.

High Street traders say seasonal shopping is down around seven per cent countrywide, probably because of the warm weather and people feeling the big day is a long way off rather than just three weeks away.

Hedgehogs and dormice are refusing to hibernate, spring bulbs are coming through the ground, and many summer flowers - including geraniums and honeysuckle - are still in bloom with no sharp frosts to kill them off.


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Insects are still active - with ladybirds still looking to munch their way through garden pests.

John Evans, deputy manager of Notcutts Garden Centre in Woodbridge, said many types of plant which should now be dormant were still active.

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“From my window I can see a daffodil flowering outside - three months early! Lots of plants are out of kilter because of this mild autumn we have had,” he said.

Scientists argue over whether the changing seasons and temperatures are symptoms of global warming or not, but winters are definitely getting warmer and a return to the cold of the 18th and 19th centuries when the Thames froze over each year is unlikely.

However, the weather forecasters say the unseasonally warm conditions are not set to last and we could have snow by the end of the year.

Today's wind will ease by the end of the week and it will get colder before turning mild again, but by Christmas we could be having blasts of arctic air and prolonged rain, according to the Met Office.

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