Rainy days set to continue this week

Grey skies, a chill in the air and rain that never seemed to stop all made for a rather gloomy and soggy Bank Holiday weekend. But, cheer up - there is some sunshine and a spot of warmer weather on the horizon, as LAURA DEVLIN discovered by checking out the long-term forecast.

Heading back to the office, factory or shop floor today should have had us feeling recharged after three days of freedom, or longing for the mini break to continue.

But rather than packing away the deckchairs and barbecues come Monday evening, many of us were probably tidying up the board games, jigsaw puzzles and plates of comfort food after being held prisoner in our homes by the miserable weather.

Little more than a week ago there wasn't a grey cloud in sight and temperatures were warm enough for us to forget the wintry clothes, bring out our summer wardrobes and eat al fresco.

Now, we're wrapping up warm, shivering under brollies and dodging the puddles after temperatures plummeted from a pleasant 22 degrees Celsius, higher than average for this time of year, to a distinctly nippy nine.

So what went wrong over the washout weekend, and can we expect things to get any better?

John Law, a forecaster with the UEA-based Weatherquest team, explained.

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“We had a low pressure system moving in from the south west during the day on Saturday, which brought the rain and it was slow to clear here in the east.

“It didn't really clear until Monday night, when another area of rain pushed in from the west.”

And boy, did it rain. Marham, near Swaffham, recorded 52mm of rain in the last three days. To put that in context, the bank holiday quotient was 4mm above the average rainfall for the entire month of May.

“Monday was the coldest day of the weekend, with a high of about nine degrees Celsius, and I don't think the rain stopped,” added Mr Law.

“It started at noon on Sunday and carried right on through to Monday, but there was actually greater rainfall on Sunday.

“What with the clouds, and the wind and the rainfall it gave a miserable feel to the whole of the weekend.”

We can't venture out of the house without our umbrellas or cagoules just yet though, as a few showers are expected this Wednesday, with intermittent sunshine and temperatures rising between now and the weekend.

“It will pick up a bit but I am afraid more rain is on the way,” he said.

“We should get some nicer, summery days next week, possibly Monday and Tuesday.

“The average temperature for this time of year is about 16 or 17 degrees Celsius, but it has to be said that we had a very dry April and I think that gave us a very distorted view of what is normal for this time of year.

“Marham on May 23 saw temperatures of 22 or 23 degrees Celsius, and when it then drops to eight or nine everyone really feels the cold.”

Meanwhile, most if not all of the hundreds of East Anglian families whose soggy weekend was blighted further by a lack of electricity were expected to have restored power by this afternoon.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said its networks engineers had worked through the night and made good progress in restoring electricity supplies to those customers affected by the adverse weekend weather in the region.

As reported today, 4,000 customers had been affected nationally and 142 customers were without power in Norfolk in the Long Stratton, Saxlingham Nethergate, Whinburgh and Garvestone areas.

The company could not give specific figures for Norfolk, but as of this afternoon about 500 customers were without power in the eastern region as a result of storm damage, mainly because of problems with overhead lines.

Sprowston park and ride will be closed on Wednesday because of flooding at the entrance and is expected to re-open on Thursday. All other sites are running as normal.

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