Looking back on a sunny December

AS 2008 starts with a chill, Evening Star weatherman KEN BLOWERS looks back on an unsettled, dry and snowless December when the sun shone for nearly seven hours on some days.

AS 2008 starts with a chill, Evening Star weatherman KEN BLOWERS looks back on an unsettled, dry and snowless December when the sun shone for nearly seven hours on some days.

IN SUFFOLK, December began with an unsettled and wet spell with rain on eight days.

It was exceptionally mild with south westerly winds gusting at times to 40 mph.

A long period of dry weather set in on December 11 as a ridge of high pressure developed over the British Isles.


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The notable event of the month was the development of a blocking anticyclone that remained centred near Denmark from December 12 to December 19. These blocking high pressure systems remain in position for a lengthy period and prevent the incursion of rain from the west.

Easterly winds from a cold Continent prevailed for eight days.

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During the cold spell there were long spells of sunshine and in Suffolk the sun beamed down for nearly seven hours on some days.

There were two days when the skies were completely clear of cloud apart from the short-lived condensation trails (contrails) from high-flying jet airliners.

A rare feature of December weather was the frequency of light winds and three days were totally calm.

Seven air frosts were recorded during the month.

Following yet another green Christmas the weather returned to an unsettled regime for the rest of the month. On December 27 temperatures reached 53F(12C) - the normal for early April.

Figures for the total amount of rain that fell in 2007 include Higham (Suffolk) 28.26 inches, Felixstowe 25.31 in, Belstead Hall 23.93 in and Cavendish 23.17 ins.

December sunshine totalled 65 hours which is 20 hours above average.

At the STAR weather station in Ipswich rain fell on 138 days and amounted to 27.91 inches - 4.12 inches above the long-term annual average.

This was mainly due to an exceptionally wet late spring and summer when 11.27 inches of rain fell from May 1 to July 31.

Evening Star weather station

rainfall totals for 12 years

1996 17.21 inches

21.41 inches

29.08 inches

30.25 inches

32.26 inches

33.31 inches

27.17inches

18.17 inches

26.16 inches

20.85 inches

24.56 inches

27.91 inches

(70-year average is 23.79 inches)

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