When will it snow in Suffolk, and will it be before Christmas?
- Credit: angela goodwin
It’s time to dream of a white Christmas – but how much snow have we had in Suffolk and Essex in recent winters, and are we going to get any this year?
What is the short-term weather forecast?
There is an absence of snow in the forecasts for the foreseeable future, but a Met Office weather warning is in place for ice tomorrow morning across the east of England and the midlands. Towns as far south as Colchester and as far north as Lowestoft can expect frost on Friday morning, with temperatures lurking close to freezing overnight.Injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces are possible in these conditions, as well as icy patches on untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths.Drivers are urged to take extra care and to defrost windows thoroughly.What about snow in the next few weeks?Weatherquest meteorologist Phil Garner said there was no way to confidently predict whether Suffolk would be seeing a white Christmas - but that there was little chance of seeing snowflakes in the next fortnight."We can only have confidence in our forecasts for a certain amount of time into the future, but at the moment we can say it's looking very unlikely there will be any snow in Suffolk before December 10," said Mr Garner."It's not an impossibility that it could snow later in the month but we can't forecast what will happen accurately yet."Mr Garner also pointed out that there are no areas in the region prone to more snowfall than others."The snow can come from so many different directions and in different ways that it's not possible to have an area that is more likely to have snow," he added.How much snow has fallen in Suffolk in the last five years?WeatherOnline, which collects weather station data across the UK, have tracked the snowfall at Wattisham Airport weather station, one of the most central in Suffolk.Data shows that there have been 24 days of snow recorded at the station - with the biggest blizzard being the Beast From the East.In seven days over February and March 2018, 89cm of snow fall, with some parts of Suffolk and Essex seeing even more of the white stuff.The wild week of weather had the four highest volumes of snowfall for a day in Wattisham in the last five years. A day of snow is recorded by the Met Office if the ground in one area is more than 50% covered at 9am that day.Does it snow a lot in Suffolk and Essex?According to the Met Office, snow in the east of England is infrequent.An assessment of the region on their website says: "The occurrence of snowfall is linked closely to temperature, with snow rarely falling if it is higher than 4C."For snow to lie for any length of time, the temperature normally has to be less than this."The number of falls also increases with altitude and latitude."The average number of days with snow falling each year ranges from less than 20 in the south east of the area to more than 30 on higher ground."The average number of days with snow lying is less, between six and 15 days."As a comparison, Balmoral in Grampian averages 60 days each winter with snow lying."It is unusual to get accumulations of more than 15cm of snow and places on the Wolds tend to be the most prone."