Preston is showing clear signs of an early Spring thanks to an extremely mild winter. Snowdrops and Spring crocuses can be found all around the city.
The Met Office confirmed December as the third warmest on record, one of the warmest since 1988, with average temperatures of around 8C. This is compared to an average of 6C over previous years.
January so far has continued the mild weather. Parts of the UK have seen have seen temperatures well above average.
Wildlife not seen until later in the year has been spotted unseasonally early. Although reported sightings of butterflies and animals coming out of hibernation have been recorded in other parts of Lancashire we have not heard of any in Preston, so far.
Colourful carpets of crocuses do not normally appear until late February or March. Some are peeking through the damp January ground already.
In the photo shown above taken recently in Ashton Park, Preston, colourful crocuses are already emerging in the damp grasslands.
Fully formed snowdrops can appear in Winter but normally bloom much later in February or early March. The photo here was taken recently at St Andrews Church graveyard in Ashton, Preston and shows patches of well formed early snowdrops.
Mother Nature always tends to surprise and no doubt we may have a cold snap in February spelling disaster for many of the emerging plants. The Met Office forecast says temperatures will plummet early February with clear skies allowing temperatures to fall to around freezing resulting icy patches.
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This weather forecast is generated by the Met Office Weather Widget
Have you seen signs of early Spring where you live? Let us know in the comments below.