The UK has always been well known for its grey and rainy weather, and Summer 2009 was no exception – unless, of course, you were here in Suffolk!
Whilst the rest of the country was opening up their umbrellas in defense of massive downpours, and wondering when the reported summer heatwave would arrive, Suffolk was enjoying sunny days and dry skies – particularly along the coast in towns such as Aldeburgh and Southwold where a micro-climate was present.
Suffolk was the driest part of the UK in 2009, with only a mere 22.5mm of rain in August. It is not difficult to see why the weather has made Suffolk such a popular choice amongst tourists this year, especially when compared to areas such as Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, where a record-breaking 289.7mm of rain fell in August, or on the Isle of Skye, where rain fell for more than 50 days, the longest uninterrupted spell of wet weather since 1861.
Hardly a drop of rain (or SNOW!) fell for weeks over the Summer over the southeast corner of England, which of course includes Suffolk.
Suffolk’s annual rainfall is generally as little as one fifth of that in the West Country, and only half that of the South Coast. In fact, Anglian Water’s media manager, Collette Nicholls, said that East Anglia has been “as dry as Jerusalem, particularly Suffolk, with about the same rainfall.”
Summer 09 was not unusual for Suffolk, as it always has an excellent sunshine record when compared to the rest of the UK. Suffolk’s summer had been the hottest since 2004 - sunny, warmer and drier than usual, and August saw temperatures of 1C above average on a daily basis.
Another plus is that the heat Suffolk receives is pleasantly more temperate than the rest of the country – the summer sun is not as scorching as inland, and coastal districts are comfortable with cool breezes coming in from the east.
A survey, conducted on behalf of Halifax, found that the area of Mid Suffolk enjoys two more hours of sunshine each week than the national average.
Martin Ellis, economist at the bank, now part of the Lloyds TSB group which is 65 per cent-owned by the tax payer, said: "Residents of Mid Suffolk have the best quality of life of any rural area in Great Britain. They tend to be healthy, with one of the longest life expectancy rates, and live in larger than average houses. Significantly, average house prices in Mid Suffolk trade at an average £9,810 below the regional average. Therefore, an excellent quality of life comes at a relatively reasonable price."
So make a date with Suffolk this Summer – and don’t worry about the British weather!
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