Suffolk sees sunniest April on record during coronavirus lockdown

Christchurch Park, along with other parks around Ipswich, are staying open for exercise - but not fo

Christchurch Park, along with other parks around Ipswich, are staying open for exercise - but not for picnics or sunbathing. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk and East Anglia as a whole have seen the sunniest April on record, while families are asked to remain indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The region has seen almost 240 hours of sunshine so far this month, beating the previous record of 237.8 hours set in 1942 - with the region as a whole seeing between 130% to 170% of average sunshine for this time of year.

Although not the hottest April on record, Santon Downham in west Suffolk recorded the highest temperature of the month on Easter Saturday (April 11) at 24.3C - while the rest of Suffolk enjoyed highs of up to 23C.

According to Norwich-based meteorologist Chris Bell, from Weatherquest, the sunny weather comes thanks to an area of high pressure over the north of the country.

Mr Bell said: “It wasn’t necessarily really warm like what we have seen before in April, but we have seen on average around one-and-a-half times the amount of sun we would expect to see.”

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The sunny temperatures have caused an issue in the current medical climate however with the outbreak of the coronavirus, leading to many flouting lockdown laws put in place to ease pressure on health services across the country.

The government made repeated calls for people not to let the sun tempt them to break the daily outdoor exercise rules.

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In Suffolk, police received 189 calls from concerned residents on the hottest day of the month while dishing out 48 warnings – in addition to 40 on Good Friday and 50 on Easter Sunday.

Officers have also reported being spat at, assaulted and bitten by dogs while breaking up unlawful gatherings such as street parties and barbecues.

The end of the month, looking into May, looks set to be wet and windy however – with Tuesday, April 28, set to mark the beginning of a long stint of rain across the region.

Wednesday is expected to see temperatures no higher than 11C, with showers beginning early morning before clearing away before the afternoon, only to return later in the day.

Mr Bell added: “It will be wet and windy for most of the time with a lot of cloud around.

“If the last few days of the month had been sunny, we would have blown the record out of the water, but instead we will only now just beat it.”

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