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By PAUL GEATER, SUFFOLK: Winter is coming
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
GET ready for the big freeze.
Forecasters are today predicting that Suffolk could be hit by a flurry of snow by the end of the week - and then at least a month of bitterly cold conditions.
The snow might not come in the quantity we saw last December – but the monthly forecast from the Met Office suggests it could hang around until well into next month.
And while that will be bad news for many – especially for those on tight budgets worried about the cost of heating their homes – for others it is a great opportunity for fun.
Managers and staff at the Suffolk Ski Centre on Wherstead Hill are hoping for a flurry of activity before any flurries of snow as winter sports enthusiasts prepare for fun.
But they can do without too much snow – which puts the customers off.
Centre manager James Noble said cold weather could remind people that the winter sports season was here – but last winter customers were put off from turning out to the ski slope and the restaurant by the bad weather.
He said: “There are pluses and minus for us. Snowfall does put people in mind to come but last year there were real problems with access and we lost a lot of sessions.
“But once the access is clear and we have made the slope safe it is brilliant for us – and people love to come out when there is real snow on the ground.”
However the news from the government’s Met Office is, in most people’s eyes, pretty grim.
By Thursday we are expected to feel the full force of a blast from the Arctic via Scandinavia.
Forecasters aren’t predicting a massive snowfall like that which heralded the start of last winter’s cold spell – but they do warn that the temperature will plummet and that we could see some snow showers blowing in from the North Sea.
And what’s more they don’t see any sign of temperatures easing for several more weeks – until the middle of December at the earliest.
No one is making any promises about the odds of a White Christmas – especially as bookies insist on snow falling on December 25 to pay out – but it does look as if the ground could be frozen hard as the festive season gathers pace even if we aren’t living in a Winter Wonderland.