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2018 - a year of extremes - and we are only mid-way through

PUBLISHED: 12:02 29 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:05 29 July 2018

A cyclist braves the cold weather and leaves a track in the snow in Holywells Park. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

A cyclist braves the cold weather and leaves a track in the snow in Holywells Park. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

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From gale force winds and bitter snow storms, to blistering heatwaves and tinder dry conditions - 2018 has been a year of extremes.

Hot weather in Felixstowe brings out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWNHot weather in Felixstowe brings out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWN

This morning we woke to almost autumnal conditions, a far cry from the blistering temperatures that have dominated over the past few weeks.

Hot weather in Felixstowe brings out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWNHot weather in Felixstowe brings out thousands of beach goers. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The heatwave that we have been experiencing over the past two months is in stark contrast to the weather conditions that made the headlines at the start of the year with ferocious storms, the Beast from the East and the late snowfall, and then a summer to rival 1976, as these pictures show. This begs the question, what else does 2018 have in store for us?

Passers by climb over a fallen tree after Storm David hit Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPassers by climb over a fallen tree after Storm David hit Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The year got off to a stormy start as Suffolk, Essex and the rest of the country took a battering in January.

A stretch of Belstead Road in Ipswich was blockied by a tree brought down by Storm David. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDA stretch of Belstead Road in Ipswich was blockied by a tree brought down by Storm David. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Storm Eleanor was the first to hit, with gusts of 60mph bringing road and rail problems throughout the region.

Snowy scenes from Felixstowe Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORESnowy scenes from Felixstowe Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

MORE: Hundreds without power as storm Eleanor hits Suffolk

Then Storm Fionn brought more chaos, closely followed by the storm with no official name - though widely referred to as David.

Snowy scenes from Felixstowe Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORESnowy scenes from Felixstowe Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

David brought some of the worst scenes of disruption in Suffolk, with scores of trees blown over, thousands of homes left without power and several schools closed.

Snowy scenes from Felixstowe  Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORESnowy scenes from Felixstowe Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

MORE: See map showing locations of major highways obstructions reported in Suffolk during Storm David

Next came the Beast from the East, which brought days of subzero temperatures, heavy snowfall and severe disruption.

Beach huts floated and tree blown down by storms Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOOREBeach huts floated and tree blown down by storms Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

MORE: Met Office issues amber alert for heavy snow in Suffolk tomorrow

And just when people thought the chaos had ended another cold front arrived in March, dubbed “The Mini Beast from the East”.

Beach huts floated and tree blown down by storms Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOOREBeach huts floated and tree blown down by storms Picture: TIM GARRETT-MOORE

Since then, the extremes have all been about heat and dryness. Suffolk recorded the UK’s hottest temperature of the year on Monday, when the mercury tipped 33C in Santon Downham. Some parts of the region have gone 50 days without seeing rain.

Snowstorm Arrives Picture: Robert McKennaSnowstorm Arrives Picture: Robert McKenna

MORE: It’s officially the hottest day of the year – with 33C recorded in Suffolk

This weekend we have seen electric storms, strong winds and heavy rain.

Lines leading towards storm clouds  Picture: Robert McKennaLines leading towards storm clouds Picture: Robert McKenna

Tonight will become drier, with winds moderating and showers easing. Occasional sunshine and developing showers are on the way tomorrow morning, with warm sunny spells and isolated showers during the afternoon.

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