Wet summers on the cards

EXPERTS are predicting bad news for sun-seekers today - heavy rainfall is increasing in Suffolk and wet weather is on the way.According to scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the amount of rain and snow falling in the UK has become more intense over the last 100 years.

EXPERTS are predicting bad news for sun-seekers today - heavy rainfall is increasing in Suffolk and wet weather is on the way.

According to scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA), the amount of rain and snow falling in the UK has become more intense over the last 100 years.

Ken Blowers, The Evening Star's weatherman, has backed this up and claimed that the majority of Suffolk's rain falls between May and August.

The UEA study, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council as part of the Flood Risk from Extreme Events programme, found that increases in heavy rainfall have become more evident in spring and, to a lesser extent, autumn.

In 1997 there were 1.51 inches of rain in one day in Suffolk, and in 2007, there were 2.08 inches of rain in May 2007 in Suffolk.

Mr Blowers said: “We have had quite a lot of heavy rain come in one day. If you get an inch of rain, it would have had to rain very hard.

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“The majority of East Anglia's heavy rain falls in May, June, July and August. Heavy snowfall in this area is very rare.”

The most intense short duration for rainfall for the UK in the last 100 years was two inches of rain in 12 minutes in Cambridgeshire, 1970.

The highest ever rainfall recorded was 11 inches in Dorset in 1955.

In the late 1960s, about seven per cent of the UK's winter precipitation came from heavy rain or snow events, while in the last ten years that figure has been about 12 per cent.

The results of the UEA survey will inform work currently being carried out on flood risk and the impact of extreme weather events. As surface run-off depends on rainfall intensity and frequency, changes in intense rainfall events will impact strongly on floods.

Dr Douglas Maraun from the university's Climatic Research unit said: “So far it is not clear what causes these trends and variations. In the next stage of our study, we will be looking at possible physical mechanisms and whether man-made global warming is contributing.”

Have you noticed a change in weather patterns? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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