Today’s balmy weather was the hottest ever temperature in February on record at one Lancashire weather station.
Records at Lancaster University’s Hazelrigg date back to 1966.
And today’s weather reached a summery 17.3 C - the hottest February temperature in 53 years.
The average June daily maximum temperature is 17.0 C.
Dr James Heath, of Lancaster University Environment Centre said: “The 1997/98 winter, like the record warm and wet winter of 2015/16, was influenced by a very strong ‘El Nino’ – a natural cycle of unusually high sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific which can influence global circulation and the weather experienced world wide. There is no such ‘El Nino’ pattern his winter.
“Our average winter, from December to February, temperatures at Hazelrigg have risen by about 1C over the last 50 years.
"The world is warming, so if we get the right scenario, in this case high pressure to the East giving us sunny conditions and dragging up warm air all the way from Spain and beyond, we’ll continue to get these record temperatures more and more.
"For example, a Met Office study last year concluded that the record breaking UK summer of 2018 was 30 times more likely due to human-induced climate change than it would have been naturally.”
According to temperature records at Lancaster University’s Hazelrigg the previous warmest February day was 14.5 C on February 15, 1998.