December is coldest in Suffolk for nearly 30 years
RECORDS reveal that it has been the coldest December for almost 30 years.
Not since a bleak 1981 have temperatures in Suffolk dropped so low in the last month of the year.
And in recent years only the January of 1985 can beat the –10.6C (12.92F) recorded at Wattisham Airfield, near Ipswich, in the early hours of Monday.
With Arctic conditions sweeping the region, Weather experts are predicting the cold spell will continue, but are unable to say for how long or how bad it will get.
Phil Garner, a forecaster for meteorological organisation WeatherQuest, based at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, said the winter weather across central England had been the harshest since 1879.
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'It's been the coldest December for quite some time – using the Central England Temperature database, this has been the coldest since 1879,' he said.
'Overnight on Monday-Tuesday at Wattisham we had –10.6C which is very, very much below the average for this time of the year and the coldest December night since 1981.
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'There are parts of Suffolk, such as Eye, which haven't had a great deal of snow – it has been more to the south, in the Ipswich area.'
But Mr Garner said that the extreme lows recorded in Suffolk over the weekend and during Monday would not continue over Christmas, although things won't be getting much better.
He added: 'It looks as though, as we go through the Christmas week, we are going to see things get less cold, with a few light showers and bursts of snow.
'It will be very cold and frosty and we will still have some snow on the ground, with temperatures of about –5C (23F) or –6C (21.2F).'
The Central England Temperature database is a well-known measure and its records date back to the 1600s.
The latest figures, added on Monday, run up to December 15 and show, after discounting recordings from coastal areas in order to gain a more accurate view, that the average temperatures have been the coldest for 131 years.