Weather update: Thunderstorm threatens to end short-lived heatwave

THUNDERSTORMS are set to bring the region’s short-lived heatwave to an abrupt end tonight.

After two days of higher than average temperatures, the forecast for the remainder of the week looks damper and cooler.

West Suffolk netted the warmest conditions yesterday with mid-afternoon temperatures recorded at 32c today, the hottest of the year so far and Joni Coleman, 22, who was enjoying the sun in the Abbey Gardens with daughter Miley-Rose, two, said she could not remember the last time it was so hot.

“We haven’t had a nice summer like this for ages,” she said. “This is really holiday weather.”

The hairdresser, who lives off Southgate Street, added: “We are lucky we have places like the Abbey Gardens and Nowton Park where we can go and spend the day.”

Phil Frost, an ice cream man with a spot for his van on Angel Hill, said: “The beginning of the summer started good – April to May. Our sales were really up.

“I have done this for 21 years and that was the best start I have ever had. This weekend has picked up really good.”

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It was slightly cooler in east Suffolk and coastal areas where sea breezes kept the mercury in check - temperatures were recorded at 29.4c at Wattisham Airfield.

Shaun Crowley, a director at Beccles Lido, said they had 950 people through the gates on Sunday, the same number as they got in a week last summer. They saw more than 300 visitors by lunchtime today, normally their quitest day of the week.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Mr Crowley. “You could not move around the pool for people sunbathing and it was the same today.”

But the sun-drenched weather is not expected to last - cooler temperatures and more unsettled conditions are set to prevail for the rest of the week.

Chris Bell, a forecaster at Norwich-based Weatherquest, said: “It’s back to more average conditions, there could be cloud or showers on Tuesday and temperatures down to 21 or 22C. That will be the same for the rest of the week, it will be mainly dry, they’ll be a few showers.

The higher-than-average temperatures had prompted health chiefs to issue a health alert amid fears the heat would pose a danger to the vulnerable.

But a spokesman for Ipswich Hospital said it had not seen a spike in heat-related admissions over the weekend.

He added: “We advise that people listen to their local weather forecast and plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill-health from the heat.

“It is sensible to avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm) and if you do go out, wear sunscreen and try to stay in the shade.

“Taking steps like wearing a hat and light, loose fitting clothes will help, and if you plan to be outside for a long time take plenty of water with you.”