The UK has enjoyed a mild and dry winter according to the Met Office which released statistics for the season today (1 March). February was also milder than average.

Despite the horrors of Storm Doris and Storm Ewan, the UK weather agency believe that we have just experienced one of the mildest winters on record.

Provisional statistics show that the 2016/17 winter has been the fourth mildest on record in Scotland and the fifth mildest in Northern Ireland. It is the ninth mildest on record for the UK as a whole.

Throughout the winter the UK mean temperature was 4.99C, 1.26C above an average year. In February mean temperatures were 5.4C, 1.7C above average. Throughout winter and February there was less rainfall than in an average year.

"This winter has been dry for most of the UK. What is unusual is the combination of mild and dry conditions, as these factors do not usually go hand in hand in a typical UK winter.

This is due to spells of high pressure bringing settled calm conditions being mixed in with depressions that have pulled warm air up from the south," said climate scientist Dr Mark McCarthy from the National Climate Information Centre.

The Met Office warned that these figures are not final because they only include data up to 26 February whereas meteorological winter officially ended yesterday (28 February).

According to the meteorological seasons, spring begins on 1 March. Weather agencies use this definition rather than the astronomical calendar because it enables them to make consistent records and predictions.