Suffolk could see 'coldest night in 10 years' as temperatures plummet
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Temperatures could drop to as low as -11C in parts of Suffolk and north Essex overnight, as forecasters warn it could be the coldest night in a decade.
The coolest temperature recorded during the Beast from the East in 2018 was -8.8C in Suffolk, but back in 2013 it dropped to -9.9C.
Adam Dury, from East Anglian forecasters Weatherquest, said there is a chance that temperatures in Suffolk and Essex could fall to around -9C/-10C into the early hours of tomorrow.
He said temperatures of -11C are "not out of the question" either - but said this was more likely in other parts of East Anglia.
He said: "It is going to be the coldest temperature in Suffolk for at least three years I would say, compared to the -8.8C recorded in the Beast from the East.
"It would have to get below -9.9C to be cooler than the -9.9C in 2013."
According to forecasters at Essex Weather Centre, temperatures could drop to as low as -13C in parts of the county.
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They said it is likely to be the "coldest night for a decade", with possible lows of -13C away from the coast.
The Met Office has also extended its yellow weather warning for snow and ice for the East of England, with further snow flurries expected into Thursday.
The warning remains in place until 11am on Thursday and is likely to cause further disruption on Suffolk's roads.
Mr Dury said: "Parts of Suffolk will see the odd light snow flurry tomorrow, mostly on the Suffolk coast.
"These will be fairly minimal and will be less than 1cm in most places, 2cm in others.
"Temperatures are not looking to go above freezing tomorrow, apart for a brief hour or two, with the same on Friday and Saturday.
"Only once we get to Sunday will temperatures start to go above freezing for a little bit longer."
Gritters will be out again tonight to help combat the icy conditions, which have caused disruption in the region since Storm Darcy arrived on Sunday.
With temperatures forecast to plummet tonight drivers are being warned by Essex Highways to take extra care as the extreme freeze means road salt could become less effective.
The minimum road surface temperature in Essex is expected to reach -10C tonight, possibly lower.
The salt which many highway authorities around the country spreads on roads starts to become less effective below -7C.
An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We are warning drivers to go out tonight between 8pm and 8am only if it is absolutely vital.
“There may be patches of ice and freezing snow which, due to the extreme conditions, have not been melted by the salt.
“Essex Highways is still gritting roads, all trucks are scheduled to carry out a gritting run at 2pm, 7pm and 2am as salt still does have some effect on the patches of ice and snow, but it is a slower effect at these extreme temperatures.”
Since Saturday, Essex Highways’ gritting operation has been a big success, spreading 3,500 tonnes of salt on Essex roads.
Priority roads have been kept clear and all 60 of its trucks have been out around the clock for each and every scheduled gritting run.
“It has been a sterling team effort by our gritter truck drivers," the spokesman continued.
“Warmer temperatures are predicted for next week, but we want all drivers in Essex to be safe and aware of the special circumstances predicted for tonight.”
These colder temperatures are supposed to stay around for the next few days, but temperatures should start to increase into next week with 'the big thaw' expected to begin on Monday.
Mr Dury said there will be a partial frost on Sunday evening, but it will gradually begin to warm up with highs of 7C/8C by the middle of next week.