The weather is expected to remain mild this week, with temperatures rising to 10C above the seasonal average in the south east on 17 December. Forecasters have said that the unsettled conditions are likely to last into the New Year.

The week ahead is expected to remain overcast but mild, with Tuesday's band of rain eventually weakening by Wednesday morning. Southern regions are expected to see exceptionally mild temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday (December 16-17), reaching up to 10C above the seasonal average of 6C.

A spokesperson for the Met Office noted that the warm weather is expected to last into the New Year, slashing chances of a White Christmas this year. Parts of the country could see heavy doses of rainfall as the weather remains unsettled throughout December.

A spokesperson for the Met Office told IBTimes UK: "Showers or longer spells of rain are likely to be interspersed with some drier and brighter interludes, with the heaviest and most persistent rainfall expected in western areas. We could see some wind at times, with a risk of occasional gales or severe gales, particularly in the north and west."

However, the forecast for the south remains brighter with drier weather predicted from the New Year onwards as pressure builds in the south. Northern parts of the country are likely to remain unsettled even after the New Year.

The mild weather has been associated with a steady, south westerly air flow that has been bringing warm, moist air from the west Atlantic, from as far as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Following on from the news that this year hosted the hottest November on record, some have begun linking the mild winter temperatures with climate change. A spokesperson for the Met Office said that it is not possible to attribute individual weather events to climate change unless there was a proper scientific investigation. However, research conducted by the Met Office in 2014 revealed that the UK would see milder and wetter winters, with hotter and drier summers in the future.