County escapes worst weather

RESIDENTS across Suffolk are breathing a sigh of relief today after predicted New Year's storms missed much of the county.Strong winds and heavy rain was expected in the county on Sunday night and Monday morning but the ferocious weather forecast never really materialised.

RESIDENTS across Suffolk are breathing a sigh of relief today after predicted New Year's storms missed much of the county.

Strong winds and heavy rain was expected in the county on Sunday night and Monday morning but the ferocious weather forecast never really materialised.

On Saturday evening strong winds did create problems and the roof of the Days Inn in Haverhill was blown off, but further east in the county disruption was kept to a minimum.

New Year's Eve itself passed with some rain but lower than expected wind speeds and the festivities continued as usual in Suffolk.


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Elsewhere, though, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Newcastle and Liverpool, plans had to be cancelled due to gails.

Ken Blowers, Evening Star weatherman, said: “The weather wasn't as bad as expected because the depression bringing the weather went too far to the north.

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“Scotland got the worst of it of course and they had to cancel their Hogmanay celebrations because there were tiles coming off the roofs and things.

“We also didn't have much rain here. In December as a whole rainfall was considerably below average.”

And Mr Blowers said temperatures throughout December had been mild and were likely to stay that way for the next few days.

Today's maximum temperature was expected to be 9C and the forecast was for a dry and sunny afternoon with winds gradually easing.

Mr Blowers added: “We still haven't seen a spell of very cold weather and to get that we need to have a large anticyclone forming over Scandinavia which brings easterly winds ice and snow.

“At the present time there is no sign of that whatsoever but the worst weather we ever had was in 1947 and that didn't begin until January 25.”

The current mild temperatures continue last year's trend, with 2006 the warmest year since records began 350 years ago.

The average daily temperature, based on readings from a number of meteorological stations, was 10.9C in 2006, compared with the previous warmest average of 10.67C in 1990.

That was a new record “by a long way,” said meteorologist Gareth Harvey of Meteogroup.

And there could be more warm years on the way.

Mr Harvey said that most of the forecasts agreed there would be an upward temperature trend over the next 10-15 years.

The Environment Agency said it was unaware of any problems with East Anglia's sea defences following a weekend of stormy weather.

Gusts of up to 70 mph hit the region during Friday and Saturday nights.

However, the agency said it was unaware of any problems with flood defences.

“The winds were from the west and south west. If they had been from the north or east there could well have been problems,” a spokesman said.

The all-clear followed breaches in the region's sea defences in the last few weeks of the year, including those at Dunwich and Walberswick, and around Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Did you suffer at the hands of the New Year weather? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblinks: www.metoffice.gov.uk

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