No white Christmas - for the 33rd time!

By Mark HeathBING Crosby might have dreamt about it and everyone wants to see it - but the region is unlikely to be treated to a white Christmas this year.

By Mark Heath

BING Crosby might have dreamt about it and everyone wants to see it - but the region is unlikely to be treated to a white Christmas this year.

While snow greeted the people of East Anglia as they woke up yesterday, forecasters said temperatures were about to take a distinctly unseasonal leap.

As the odds on a snowy Christmas day were extended to 16-1, East Anglian Daily Times weatherman, Ken Blowers, said: “There's virtually no hope of a white Christmas.

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“Over the next 36 hours there's going to be a dramatic change in temperature. While we had figures of 34F (1C) on Monday, they should go up to around 50F (10C) over the next few days.

“That is because we have had cold air coming straight down from the Arctic, whereas from now onwards there's going to be a south-westerly wind coming all the way from the Atlantic Ocean.

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“Christmas Day this year will be cloudy with a south-westerly wind, mild temperatures and occasional rain.”

He added: “Those conditions will continue over all the Christmas period, although there may well be a temporary dry spell on Christmas Eve.

“As there's very little chance of any snow on Christmas, that will be the 33rd consecutive Christmas day without snow.

“The last time we had snow falling on Christmas day in East Anglia was in 1970, when three to four inches fell everywhere.”

Although there is unlikely to be any snow on Christmas Day, the downfall that the region saw on Sunday night has continued to cause problems.

Since 7pm on Sunday, police have logged 28 reports of weather-related incidents, including road accidents and youngsters throwing snowballs at moving cars.

Officers reminded motorists to make sure they checked their vehicles were in good working order before making journeys and to adjust their driving to the conditions.

A police spokesman said: “If it is wet, snowing, icy, foggy or windy, then slow down.

“Increase your following distance and make sure that there is enough room between your car and the car in front to allow you to stop quickly if necessary.

“Make sure that you are aware of what is happening around you - check your mirrors frequently, look well ahead and try to anticipate problems before they confront you.”

He added: “Be aware of what you are doing behind the wheel. When visibility is reduced, use dipped headlights.

“Don't leave your lights on full beam when approaching or following other motorists - it dazzles other drivers and can cause them to be distracted or even blinded, which is dangerous.”

Although East Anglia does not seem set to be hugely affected by the cold weather, doctors warned the wintry conditions could lead to more than 2,500 deaths across the UK.

William Bird, medical consultant to the Met Office, said: “The cold snap over Sunday and Monday will lead to a sharp increase in deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular conditions over the next week. Many of these could have been avoided simply by keeping people warm.

“In addition to the increase in cardiovascular admissions over Christmas and Boxing Day and the usual rise in bronchitis at this time of year, we are looking at a likely increase in respiratory admissions of elderly people in the first week of January.”

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