Felixstowe: Gloomy weather forecasts stirring up a storm in resort
19:25 10 October 2012
DON’T rain on our parade!
Fed-up tourism bosses in Felixstowe have told weather experts to stop being the harbingers of climatic doom and gloom by predicting rain and chill – when the resort is actually bathed in sunshine.
They believe forecasters fail to acknowledge Felixstowe’s unique micro-climate, which often means the weather there is vastly different to the conditions in nearby Ipswich.
There may only be 12 miles between the two towns but – meteorologically speaking – they are sometimes worlds apart.
Drizzle and strong winds in Ipswich can be accompanied by warmth and sunshine in Felixstowe.
Mystery surrounds the phenomenon but the resort’s weather patterns have traditionally resulted in it being one of the driest places in the UK – enjoying some of the longest hours of sunshine.
But business which rely on the tourist trade and who depend on good conditions say not enough is being done to inform people outside of the resort about Felixstowe’s weather.
They believe forecasts on television and online overlook Felixstowe’s unique weather.
“It makes a massive difference to people coming out for the day,” said Charlie Manning, the owner of Manning’s Amusements.
“If it is raining in Ipswich then people don’t travel to Felixstowe – but it is not always the same.”
Stan Harris, owner of Ocean Boulevard, added: “Last Sunday it was beautiful here and people kept coming down and saying it was foggy around Ipswich. We need people from areas like Colchester, Bury and Hadleigh to realise that if it is raining in your area, don’t think it will be like that here, but who do they ask?”
The seafront traders’ comments come after a tourist attraction boss in north Devon threatened to take legal action against the Met Office after a “series of overly pessimistic” forecasts.
Rick Turner, who runs the Big Sheep animal attraction, said: “Over the August bank holiday weekend I remember they forecast a whole weekend of rain with heavy rain on the Saturday. We did not have a drop and were enjoying sunshine and blue sky all day. This will have cost the tourism industry here in the South West millions of pounds and my business thousands.”
n Does more need to be done to let people know about the weather in Felixstowe?