The warmest January day ever was recorded in at least eight European countries including Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia, according to data collated by Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who tracks extreme temperatures.
In Korbielów, Poland, the mercury hit 19C (66F) – a temperature the Silesian village is more used to in May, and 18C above the 1C annual average for January. In Javorník in the Czech Republic it was 19.6C, compared with an average of 3C for this time of year.
Temperatures in Vysokaje, Belarus, would normally hover around zero at this time of year. On Sunday they reached 16.4C, beating the country’s previous record January high by 4.5C.
Elsewhere on the continent, local records were broken at thousands of individual measuring stations, with nearly 950 toppled in Germany alone from 31 December to 2 January, Herrera said.
Northern Spain and the south of France basked in beach weather, with 24.9C in Bilbao, its hottest ever January day, and records broken at stations in Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque region. Only Norway, Britain, Ireland, Italy and the south-east Mediterranean posted no records.