Suffolk: Right kind of rain arrives across East Anglia – at last!

SUFFOLK: It might not be good news for everyone, but the persistent rain that has moved across the region is today delighting farmers and water company bosses.

The rain, which started falling yesterday morning, is expected to continue, off and on, until tomorrow morning – and is then likely to return on Wednesday.

Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water said the rain was very welcome – but warned that a few days of wet weather was only the start of what was needed.

Last week Anglian Water warned that domestic restrictions – including hosepipe bans – were a real possibility in summer if there was not significant rain over the next few months.

Mr Nelson said: “We need weeks of rain like this. A few days like this are very welcome and it eases the pressure slightly, but we need a lot more to really change the situation.”

Before underground water sources start to replenish, the ground around them needs to become saturated. After a second dry winter, the ground remains very dry.

Alton Water is 88 per cent full – but that is lower than would be expected at this time of year and with other reservoirs elsewhere in the region at much lower levels, it may become necessary to move water around the Anglian Water network.

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Dan Holley from Norwich-based weather forecasters Weatherquest said: “It looks like this steady moderate rain will continue, off and on, until Tuesday. It’s what the water companies and farmers will see as ‘the right kind of rain’, which will be absorbed into the ground.”

Tomorrow should become better once the rain has blown away, but it is set to return on Wednesday. “We could get another 10-12 millimetres then,” said Mr Holley.

After that, Thursday and Friday should see temperatures rise. It might not be sunny, but there should only be occasional showers and it may be dry.

Last night it was cold enough for some to fall as sleet or snow – but it was not expected to settle.

Mr Holley said: “The mild weather over the last few weeks has raised the temperature of the ground and the rain has made it damp – which means snow cannot settle.”

n In Felixstowe, the wet weather did not put off about 200 people who took part in the annual Walk of Thoughts on the seafront.

A short service was held for people to remember loved ones who had died at St Elizabeth Hospice – before the brave walkers set off in the rain.