2020 in weather: Year of extremes as Suffolk sees heatwave and storms
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
2020 is hardly likely to be a year to forget - not least because of a rapidly changing climate which fluctuated from extremes amidst the chaos of coronavirus.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the year was likely to be a benign one - January was the sixth mildest on record, with temperatures more like spring or autumn than the depths of winter.
Yet Suffolk and north Essex were very much brought back down to earth by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara in February, which wreaked havoc as they battered the region and caused widespread floods - with 10,000 homes at one point left without power.
A section of Clacton Pier was severely damaged and a driver in Bury St Edmunds had a very lucky escape from his car in Suffolk after a tree fell down and crushed his vehicle.
The Met Office described February as an "incredible month", which was the wettest on record.
Yet in March, the weather seemed to turn on a sixpence - from repeated rain to weeks of dry weather and sunshine.
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For many, this came just in the nick of time - the country suddenly found itself in an unexpected lockdown and there was relief people could do their daily exercise in balmy weather.
The spring was the sunniest ever recorded, the Met Office said, with May alone recording nearly 315 hours of sunshine. Indeed, there were fears the weather might lead to more people breaking coronavirus rules restricting movement and socialising.
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Having had bucketloads of rain early on in the year, East Anglia now faced the opposite problem. There was an average of just 4mm of rain across the region in May, leading to fears of a drought.
Rain finally did come in June and July, before a mini heatwave in August as temperatures reached highs of 35C.
With the country coming out of the coronavirus lockdown, this was again a much-needed boost for a tourism industry forced to shut down earlier in the year.
However, things would turn again - August ended with chillier temperatures, while September and October saw more on-off rainfall.
The year has ended with some more extreme weather, as Storm Bella brought huge swathes of flooding.
Drone footage from areas such as Beccles, Flatford and Stowmarket's Rattlesden River showed whole fields underwater.
With storms and sunshine, it seems that 2020 has truly been a tumultuous year in more ways than one.