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End of year deluge only brings East Anglia’s rainfall up to average in 2019

PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 January 2020

Children enjyoing the hot weather in Felixstowe - in April Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Children enjyoing the hot weather in Felixstowe - in April Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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While 2019 was one of the sunniest and warmest years on record in East Anglia, rainfall in the region was only average despite the deluge of the last three months.

The perect treat for an early spring day. Katie Vagnerova with an ice cream sundae from The Little Ice Cream Shop  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe perect treat for an early spring day. Katie Vagnerova with an ice cream sundae from The Little Ice Cream Shop Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Figures collected by regional forecasters Weatherquest from weather stations across the region show that 2019 was the eighth sunniest year on record and the 10th warmest - with records going back to 1910.

Rainfall total in the region was less than 1% below the long-term average - but the first five months of the year saw significantly low rainfall.

June was relatively wet, but July, August and September were fairly dry before the heavens opened during the last three months of the year.

Water bosses insisted that they still wanted to see more rain between now and April to help fill up underground water supplies.

December's heavy rain caused flooding in places across the region this was the car park at Needham Lake just before Christmas.  Picture: NEIL HODSONDecember's heavy rain caused flooding in places across the region this was the car park at Needham Lake just before Christmas. Picture: NEIL HODSON

There have been warnings that there could be water restrictions in some places during the summer if the rain doesn't continue.

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: "We still need more rain, preferably usable rain that will seep into the soil and into the groundwater aquifers. We've now got all our reservoirs completely full up.

"When we checked at the start of December the rain from October and November had stabilised the aquifers. Now we need more rain to refill them. We should soon find out how December's rain helped with that - but I know we still need more to come down."

The Weatherquest figures show that over the last three years only 82% of average rainfall came down - meaning there remains a significant deficit underground.

Weather records for 2019 from Weatherquest and the Met Office. Picture: WEATHERQUESTWeather records for 2019 from Weatherquest and the Met Office. Picture: WEATHERQUEST

The Environment Agency is also keen to see more rain over the next few months.

A spokesman said: "Recent rainfall across East Anglia has continued to have a positive impact on soil moisture deficit, which means groundwater is recharging.

"We will remain in drought conditions until the groundwater has recharged sufficiently and is at or near normal levels. If the present rainfall averages continue this could mean we come out of drought as early as March next year.

"We will be convening the next meeting of the National Drought Group later this month to help manage down the risks of future water shortages and further environmental damage."

July 2019 saw a heatwave, with people heading for Felixstowe to soak up the sun.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJuly 2019 saw a heatwave, with people heading for Felixstowe to soak up the sun. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

East Anglian weather facts for 2019 from Weatherquest:

Records go back to 1910 (temperature and rainfall) and 1929 (sunshine)

It was the 10th driest January with the 10th lowest number of rain days for the month.

It was the sunniest (and fifth warmest) February.

The paddling pool at Bourne Park in Ipswich during the late July heatwave Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe paddling pool at Bourne Park in Ipswich during the late July heatwave Picture: RACHEL EDGE

It was the sixth warmest March (with the 3rd lowest number of overnight frosts for the month).

It was the eighth driest April (with a high number of overnight frosts).

It was the join ninth warmest July (although the hottest day ever recorded in the UK was at Cambridge on July 25 at 38.7C).

It was the sixth sunniest August.

It was even warm enough to visit the coast in February!  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIt was even warm enough to visit the coast in February! Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

It was the seventh sunniest September.

There was the third highest number of October rain days.

There was the sixth highest number of November rain days.

And it was the fifth sunniest December (despite all the rain).

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