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Another chilly year in the Anglia region but a good summer

It was a colder year than normal in the Anglia region in 2013 but at least we had a good summer. Photo: James Storey

December may end up being one of the warmest on record but overall 2013 was a bit of a chilly one in the Anglia region. That makes it three of the past four years colder than average in this area.

2013 will end up colder than 2012 but not as cold as 2010 and such is the volatility of our English weather that sandwiched in the middle of all of them was 2011 - which was the hottest year on record in East Anglia.

The Met Office has temperature records for the region dating back to 1910 and since then the top ten hottest years have all occurred since 1990. In fact, the four hottest have been in the past decade or so - being 2011, 2006, 2002 and 2007.

A snowy scene at Halstead in Essex on 18 January 2013. Credit: Simon Edney

The average temperature over the year in 2013 - taking into account day time highs and night time lows - was 9.9°C.

Meteorologists tend to compare statistics with a 30-year average. So 2013 was 0.4°C colder than the 1981-2010 average temperature for the Anglia region of 10.3°C.

But taking the longer view - the average annual temperature in East Anglia taking every year since 1910 into account is 9.8°C. So 2013 was slightly warmer than that and in fact there have been 67 colder years than 2013 in the past century.

  • Hottest year on record - 2011 with an average temperature of 11.2°C
  • Coldest year on record - 1963 with an average temperature of 8.4°C
  • Average annual temperature in East Anglia since 1910 is 9.8°C
A snowy scene at Mawsley Village in Kettering, Northamptonshire on 18 January 2013 Credit: Tom Sanders

The first six months of the year were colder than the second half of the year. In fact, the January to June period was the coldest we've seen in this part of the world for 26 years since 1987. The month of March was particularly frigid checking in as the coldest for more than half a century. It was the third coldest March ever recorded after 1962 and 1917.

Looking on the brighter side, summer redeemed the year a little by being warm, dry and sunny which makes a bit of a change.

Every summer for since 2003 has been wetter than normal but 2013 broke that pattern in style being the driest for nearly two decades and the seventh driest on record.

The hottest day of the year was 1 August when the maximum temperature averaged 31°C across the Anglia region and the sun shone for 12 hours.

A summer meadow at Ickleford in Hertfordshire on the hottest day of the year - 1 August 2013 Credit: Graham Custance

It may have been a chilly year but it was also a dry one. Four of the past five years have been drier than normal but once again the natural variability of our British weather comes into play.

2013 has 10% less rainfall than normal but followed on from the wettest year ever record in East Anglia in 2012. The year before that was one of the driest on record.

It looks like we end the year with a tiny bit less sunshine than normal but still six months of the year were sunnier than average - namely April, July, August, September, November and December.

  • Wettest year ever in East Anglia - 2012 with 810 mm of rain
  • Driest year ever in East Anglia - 1921 with 346 mm of rain
  • An average year in East Anglia has 628 mm of rain
A bus is blown over in Suffolk during the St Jude's Day storm. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It turned stormy as we headed into autumn and winter.

On 28 October the St Jude's Day storm battered the southern half of Britain with wind gusts of up to 100mph. In the Anglia region hundreds of trees were brought down, there was widespread travel disruption and hundreds of thousands of homes were left without power.

That was followed in December by the biggest storm surge down the East coast since 1953. In fact in some areas the tides were even higher than 1953 but sea defences and warnings were much better than 60 years ago.

Although there was storm damage and flooding in our coastal communities there were, thankfully, no reports of any serious injuries and deaths. In 1953 more than 300 died in East Anglia.

Damage in Bacton, Norfolk following December's tidal surge Credit: ITV News Anglia / Sean Cockrell
  • Hottest day of the year - 1 August when it reached 33.4°C in Writtle, Essex
  • The lowest temperatures of the year was -13.2°C in Buxton, Norfolk on 16 January
  • The highest daily rainfall total was 58.2 mm in Shoeburyness, Essex on 24 August
  • The hottest month of the year was July with an average daily maximum temperature of 24.3°C
  • February and March were the joint coldest months of the year
  • The wettest month of the year was October with 100 mm of rainfall
  • The sunniest month of the year was July with an average of 8.4 hours of sunshine per day