Coldest day for 10 years hits region

TEMPERATURES across East Anglia dropped to the lowest level in almost 10 years yesterday - with Suffolk and Essex shivering in colder weather than parts of Alaska.

TEMPERATURES across East Anglia dropped to the lowest level in almost 10 years yesterday - with Suffolk and Essex shivering in colder weather than parts of Alaska.

Weather experts recorded temperatures of -2C (28F) in Ipswich yesterday while the city of Anchorage in Alaska saw -1C (30F).

East Anglian Daily Times weatherman Ken Blowers said it was the region's coldest day since January 26, 1996, adding that it was extremely unusual to record freezing temperatures all day long.

The last time this occurred was eight years ago, he said.


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And the chilly weather looks set to continue for at least another couple of days, with further cold snaps likely in January and February.

“There's an Atlantic front coming in from the west and that's going to bring across England an area of precipitation that will begin as snow, going on for an hour or two, turning into sleet and then to rain,” said Mr Blowers.

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“There will be snow this morning. After that it will get slightly less cold and so on New Year's Eve the temperature will be up to 4C (40F).

“We are far from being out of the woods yet because the coldest month is usually January or February so there's plenty of time for the predicted coldest winter for 10 years.”

The coldest day ever recorded in Suffolk was on January 24, 1963, where temperatures fell to -7C (19F).

Mr Blowers said the deepest snow recorded in East Anglia was on February 15, 1979, where several people in Ipswich were injured by falling icicles.

The latest cold weather left elderly people at Oaksmere Gardens sheltered housing complex in Evesham Close, Ipswich, housebound yesterday, with carers, the milkman and the postman having to park their vehicles and walk to the site.

The complex is located at the top of a steep hill but the road is not considered a priority route and had not been gritted until the East Anglian Daily Times stepped in and told the council of the pensioners' plight.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said last night it did not have the resources to treat every road but in special cases could endeavour to go and clear it by hand.

He added: “The last thing we would want is for elderly people to be suffering unduly. We will do everything we can to clear the road.”

Meanwhile, other parts of Britain recorded some of the coldest daytime temperatures for years yesterday.

Some regions in north east England saw the temperature rise no higher than -7C (19F) even by the middle of the day and at Aviemore in Scotland, where overnight temperatures on Wednesday fell to -12C (10F), the 1pm high was only -7.1C (19F).

Teesside airport in County Durham also recorded a day-time high of -7C, while the thermometer only reached -4C (25F) in Nottingham and York.

The Highways Agency is advising drivers to check weather forecasts before setting out on journeys. But few people seemed keen to venture out, with the RAC reporting very quiet roads as many people continued their Christmas holidays or worked from home.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents warned sledgers and skaters to take care, while bookmaker William Hill gave odds of 200/1 on snow falling at next summer's Wimbledon tennis championships.

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