Ipswich: Warm reception for 2012

SO far, January has seen flowers burst into bloom months ahead of schedule, birds singing early and picture-perfect sunrises.

Last winter the county was gripped by sub-zero temperatures and inches of snow fell, leaving motorists facing treacherous roads and pedestrians slipping and sliding.

But this winter has proved to be very different and has been the warmest for six years, according to weather forecasters.

Yesterday morning the county awoke to a beautiful sunrise with streaks of pink and blue across the sky as these pictures show.

Meanwhile, Michael Haggar, of Harrow Close, Ipswich, said his garden was blooming thanks to the milder weather.

“I have a camellia in my back garden which for the first time in 15 years is in full bloom,” he said.

“It is the first time it has ever flowered at this time of year. It doesn’t normally flower until mid-February.”

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Mr Haggar, 65, who has been gardening since he was six years old, believes the early bloom of the camellia – which is mottled pink and white with a yellow centre – can only be down to the mild temperatures.

Steve Piotrowski, president of Suffolk Ornithologists Group, said even birds were getting confused by the mild weather.

“They are singing when they don’t normally sing,” he said. “Singing is an indicator of breeding but I heard a goldfinch and a songthrush singing the other day.

“As far as wintering birds are concerned, we have not had the influx of thrushes that we normally have.

“It is not a concern if the birds don’t need to move, it’s better for them. But it is early days – we could still get a cold spell.”

The unusually mild temperatures, which peaked at nearly 12C on Boxing Day, have left it feeling more like spring compared to the average temperatures of just 5C in January.

Weather experts have forecast a change in the temperatures from today and over the weekend.

Phil Garner, a forecaster at Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: “We have got a cold front coming through from the north today and it will be a real change from the mild weather we’ve had for the past few weeks.

“Daytime temperatures for Friday and Saturday will be nearer to 5C while overnight temperatures will fall as low as -2C so we will see some night frosts.

“But the good news is it should be fine and dry with a fair amount of sunshine.”

n How have you been enjoying the mild weather? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to us at eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk and send your pictures to suffolkpicturedesk@archant.co.uk

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