2018 - A year of extreme weather
PUBLISHED: 08:13 28 December 2018
From high winds controversially shutting the Orwell Bridge, to the Beast From the East causing chaos, 2018 certainly wasn't a quiet year weather-wise.
There was the incredible heatwave which resulted in a spate of wildfires, then distress for gardeners across Suffolk and Essex as they watched their grass and plants wilt.
This dramatic year of weather extremes has pushed our emergency services to the limit and you have amazed us with the stunning pictures of your weather highlights.
Do you remember storm Eleanor? Well she kicked off 2018 with a bang, bringing winds of more than 60mph that closed the Orwell Bridge for the first time this year.
More strong winds in January led to two further closures that month, leaving drivers fuming.
In mid-january temperatures dropped below freezing and snow fell across Suffolk and Essex, giving a taste of what was to come next.
February and March - the Beast From the East
Just when we hoped it might feel more like spring, the end of February 2018 saw the arrival of the now infamous Beast from the East!
Bringing subzero temperatures and bucketloads of snow, the Beast from the East caused massive travel disruption and closed hundreds of schools.
Ipswich Town’s Championship fixture with Hull was even called of because of health and safety fears for home and away fans getting to Portman Road.
The Beast From The East really did feel like it would go on for ever!
Following on from the freezing February and March, April was a scorcher with record-breaking temperatures meaning runners from our region braved the London Marathon in temperatures of 23C.
Temperatures stayed relatively high throughout May and June preparing sun worshippers for the super-hot summer which was just around the corner.
Summer 2018 - The big heatwave
Extremely high temperatures and sunshine meant it was a very hot, dry summer for people living in East Anglia.
The region saw 43% more sunshine than an average July and only half the average rainfall. In the east the temperatures peaked at 34.7C on July 27.
Then there was a never ending wait for rain which led to a swathe of field fires.
Conditions for firefighterswere particularly extreme in July and the fire service had 1,117 call outs, more than double their activity in most other months of the year.
Autumn and winter 2018
Compared to the start of the year the last few months of 2018 have been relatively uneventful, though the Orwell Bridge did shut in late November due to high cross-winds of 55mph.
Swimmers and park runners were treated to a relatively warm Christmas Day this year. Though there was a weather warning for fog, this wasn’t as bad as first feared.
Traditionalists hoping for a white Christmas would definitely have been left disappointed after what was an extremely exciting year for weather enthusiasts in Suffolk and Essex.