Saturday is set to be among the warmest January days on record, the Met Office has revealed, with temperatures forecast to reach up to 22°C.

An expected south-westerly wind from the Sahara Desert is behind the unusually mellow forecast, according to the weather models.

While the maximum air temperature for the weekend is expected to reach a high of 21°C, it could be pushed to 22°C on Saturday because of the desert wind, a spokesperson said.

It is also possible, however, that rain showers feature on the day, causing a cooling effect on the land - keeping the temperature at 21°C, the spokesperson said, adding that it was important to note that this outlook could change based on newer models available closer to the day.

January is usually the time of year when temperatures drop - causing people around the island to turn on the heating and bring out warmer quilts and blankets from storage.

The warmest day ever recorded is January 29, 1939, when the temperature reached 22.8°C.

The mean maximum air temperature for January is 15.6°C, with the coldest January day on record being January 29, 1981, when the temperature dipped to a low of 1.4°C, the Met Office said.

Due to seasonal high-pressure systems, warm days in January are not unheard of.

Other warm January days experienced over the years were: January 20, 1956 - 21.7°C; January 12, 1982 - 22.2°C; January 20, 2007 - 21.9°C; and January 10m 2016 - 21.6°C.

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