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December 'warmest since 1756'

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11:25 CET+01:00
December 2006 will go down in history as the warmest since records began. And there are still no signs of snow in many parts of the country.

Meteorological maps have been coloured a deep shade of red for the duration of December and temperatures continue to hover well above the average all over the country.

December 14 was warmest of all, so warm in fact that meteorologists classified it as a summer's day, with temperatures climbing above ten degrees in southern Sweden.

"December will go down in history as the warmest month in an awful lot of places," said SMHI meteorologist Sten Laurin.

Temperatures at the Gielas weather station in northern Sweden were a full ten degrees above the annual average. And similar statistics were recorded in Ångermanland, Jämtland and Dalarna.

The average December temperature in Stockholm is expected to be around five degrees, which is six degrees above normal. It is the highest average for the month since records began in 1756.

Taken as a whole, 2006 was a warmer year than usual, though not to the same extent as December.

"It has just been record upon record since July. But we had a long winter this year and a record cold March, which pulled down the average for the year," said Laurin.

A warm December is bad news for skiing enthusiasts, and the immediate future remains more green than white.

"When we ran a computer scan on Thursday it showed that the snow might be coming in on January 10. But when we did it again today (Friday), it no longer looked that way," said Laurin.

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