Well, it appears I'll have started this year in better shape than last, as luck would have it. Okay, it didn't take that much of it .
I can't say I'm filled with confidence in my Feb estimate - more signs of high pressure dominating somewhere in the vicinity of the UK, with hints of a drift right overhead for mid-month, in which case it will make a huge difference just how far north it is.
Jan has been far milder for much of Scotland than southern England, demonstrating the differential that can exist between stagnant conditions beneath it and a westerly flow on its northern flank. Had the high not clouded up 22nd-25th, the difference would probably have been even larger owing to more nights falling well below zero.
On the broad scale, the subtropical high pressure belt is exceptionally strong and far north. Only a handful of past winters can rival the current position. Funnily enough, one of those is the notorious 1976... best hope that's not an omen as from what I hear, the drought was tough enough back then and that was with a markedly smaller population (~56.2 million) than we have now (~68.2 million) - there are ~12 million more human beings consuming water each day!