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Gallery: This time last year transport systems ground to a halt after several inches of snowfall - yet this January we are seeing snowdrops blooming early

18:05 20 January 2014

Enjoying the snow in Christchurch park, Ipswich
Jasmine Love

Enjoying the snow in Christchurch park, Ipswich Jasmine Love

Archant

What a difference a year makes.

Images of families enjoying snow-covered parks and sub-zero temperatures causing transport systems to grind to a miserable halt are now a distant memory after one of the mildest winters on record.

This time last year Suffolk was mired in a week-long Arctic blast. In fact, from the night of January 14 to the afternoon of January 22, the mercury never once rose above freezing in the county.

In contrast, this year we have enjoyed January temperatures as high as 12C (54F) –while last month was the 12th warmest December in the last 114 years in East Anglia.

And in some places snowdrops rather than snow have been the order of the day.

The vagaries of weather fronts and areas of low and high pressure can account for the seasonal disparity.

Chris Bell, forecaster for East Anglia-based Weatherquest, explained: “Throughout that time period last year an area of high pressure over Scandinavia was coming from the east, which is where the cold air at this time of year comes from.

“Contrast that to this year where we have an area of low pressure from the Atlantic – from the north west of Scotland and Ireland – and it has been remarkably mild.

“We have had some very cold winters in the last three or four years but people are saying they are being reminded of the late 1990s and early 2000s when there was not too much snow around.”

When asked if he thought the region would see any snow at all this winter, he said it would be “foolish” for any weather forecaster to confirm either way at the midway point.

However he did suggest temperatures were likely to drop towards the end of this month, while he pointed out that the above-average temperatures currently being experienced may not be an indicator of a winter devoid of snowflakes.

“Last year before the cold weather arrived in January we had temperatures of around 9C (48F) and 10C (50F) which is very similar to this year,” Mr Bell added.

“Just because it is like this now it does not mean it is going to stay mild through to March.” A further examination of last year’s winter charts reveals that overnight on January 16/17 conditions plunged to a winter’s low of -11C (12F).

The same night this year was 6C (43F).

The average minimum temperature for January is 0C (32F). So far in 2014 it has been 4.6C (40.2F). Last year it was 0.1C (32.1F).

1 comment

  • Some one take a pic .of snowdrops ,I would love to see them ! We can't grow them in Texas .

    Report this comment

    Violet Adlam

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Highways England chiefs have said an update on whether the Orwell Bridge will be open or closed to drivers this morning is to come at 7am today, February 23.

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A pizza delivery driver who was involved in an accident with another vehicle in Wherstead Road, Ipswich has been banned from the roads after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Plastic sheeting caught on overhead wires at Witham is cancelling and delaying trains on the main line from Suffolk and Essex this morning.

Were you in Ipswich when Margaret Thatcher visited in April 1979, just one month before she won the general election?

For as long as I’ve been covering developments in Suffolk – and that extends to decades rather than years – there has been a perceived conflict between out of town retail parks and traditional town centres.

A storm is set to hit Suffolk and north Essex today – the not-quite-so-terrifyingly-named Storm Doris.

Suffolk’s hit-making chart star, Ed Sheeran, wowed the crowds at this year’s Brit Awards with a rendition of his most recent hits.

More than 40 photographers will be exhibiting hundreds of images for this year’s Ipswich and District Photographic Society exhibition.

Council tax bills in Ipswich will go up by 2.7% from April.

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