Bitter wind will make it feel like minus 12

TEMPERATURES could feel as low as -12C this weekend as a bitterly cold wind hits the county, forecasters have warned.

Anthony Bond

TEMPERATURES could feel as low as -12C this weekend as a bitterly cold wind hits the county, forecasters have warned.

Todayand tomorrowcould be the coldest days of the winter as a north-easterly wind of up to 20mph makes it feel much colder than it actually is.

This follows on from a winter low of -6C in the early hours of yesterdaymorning - the lowest temperature recorded in Suffolk since December 1981, according to one weatherman.

With conditions set to deteriorate this weekend following weeks of poor weather, Age Concern Suffolk has warned people to look out for elderly neighbours while an emergency snowline has been extended by Suffolk County Council.

Ipswich-based weatherman Ken Blowers said: “The wind is going to get up which will make the wind chill very severe. The days could feel just as cold as the nights.”

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Mr Blowers said he believed it is now the 27th day of the cold spell. And he warned that if it continues, this winter could go down as the coldest in a generation.

“The highest the temperature is getting at the moment is about freezing point. Almost every day of the last week, the highest the temperature has been is 34F which is 1C and it is very unusual to be so cold for so long.

“If you look back to 1962/63, which was the last severe winter, it went on in East Anglia for 76 days and the previous severe winter was 1946/47. Severe winters are extremely rare and this one could equal that if it goes on.”

Steve Western, a forecaster at Weatherquest, said it could feel as low as -12C in some parts of Suffolk because of the wind.

He said more snow can be expected this weekend, with 1-2 inches possibly falling last nightin some parts of the county.

“I think there will be more snow showers down the east side of the county,” he said. “There is a possibility of drifting snow on Saturday and Sunday morning.”

Mr Western said with the wind, the temperature could feel much colder than it actually is.

“The wind chill is a presumed temperature. It is just how human beings feel the temperature. It will feel bitterly cold.”

Temperatures in Britain are already on a par with the South Pole with Altnaharra in Scotland reaching -22.3C yesterday morning. Meanwhile, Manchester and parts of the Brecon Beacons in Wales have seen temperatures fall to -16C, with Glasgow reaching -8C.

Daphne Savage, chief executive of Age Concern Suffolk, said she was concerned for elderly people who had stocked up on supplies earlier in the week but were now running out.

“I am slightly concerned that now that it is an extended period of poor weather, people might now start to be running out of basic supplies that they have been stocking up. None of us are very good at asking for help and so it is about people being pro-active and knocking on doors, that is really the most important thing. And the advice to elderly people is to not take any risks in the weather.”

According to weatherman Ken Blowers, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Suffolk was -14C on January 28, 1963.

That was during the last severe winter of 1962/63, with poor weather lasting for 76 days. That winter was the coldest for about 250 years.

Other severe winters, which are very rare, were in 1939/40 and 1946/47 - when there was a huge amount of snowfall.

As this cold snap enters its 27th day, Mr Blowers said this could be another severe winter if conditions continue as they are.

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