Winter heat records smashed all over Europe

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Temperatures for January have reached an all-time high in a number of nations across Europe.

National records have fallen in eight countries – and regional records in another three.

Warsaw recorded 18.9C on 1 January – shattering the previous record by over 5C, Ohlsbach in southwest Germany had 19.4C, and Bilbao in northern Spain recorded 25.1C.

Prague also had its warmest New Year’s Eve in 247 years of records, with temperatures reaching 17.7C.

The mild European weather comes as North America faces more severe storms, days after a deadly winter cold snap left more than 60 dead.

Heavy snow and freezing rain have been forecast for parts of the northern Midwest while severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

But on the European side of the Atlantic, the weather has been balmy for many places at the start of the year.

Temperatures in the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark and Belarus broke national records.

Station records were broken in Germany, France and Ukraine.

The temperature recorded in Warsaw on 1 January was 4C higher than the previous record for the month, and Belarus’ record high was 16.4C, some 4.5C above the previous record.

In Spain, New Year’s Day temperatures in Bilbao were equivalent to the average in July, and parts of Catalonia including Barcelona are subject to restrictions on water use.

Temperatures in France at the end of the year were the warmest for 25 years, according to national forecaster Meteo France.

It was a similar picture in Switzerland, where a weather station in the Jura range saw a record daily average of 18.1C on New Year’s Day.

The northern Alps and French Pyrenees are particularly struggling for snow and some resorts, after barely being open a month, have had to close until things improve.

One of the latest to shut was Ax 3 Domaines, near France’s border with Andorra, which closed on Saturday after only a few weeks.

Read more via Sky News/BBC

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