Cathy's Blog - Weather

We love talking about the weather and our four-seasons-in-one-week pattern is worth talking about! Four weeks ago I was heralding the start of spring and enjoying the longer days…

The ‘Beast from the East’ storm was attributed to the significant rise in temperature in the Arctic, where it was about 30 degrees higher than normal and above freezing for whole days. This pushed the cold air down to us, and this is due to happen again this weekend.

I live on the Suffolk coast, and felt the relentless east wind. I recall a ‘Suffolk’ saying… “the east wind is lazy… it doesn’t go around you, it just goes through you!” Very true, straight through my house! And straight across fields, lifting firstly the snow into extraordinarily deep drifts, and then lifting light soil on top of the snow, and onto roads! This blast of winter caused not only human disruption, but also quite a lot of damage to the Suffolk coastline. Take care as the sandy cliffs will be more fragile than usual.

Thirty AONB Beachwatch volunteers went out on Monday to Shingle Street, responding to beach litter reports. The bulk of what was fund was ‘obviously’ plastic, more drink caps, lids and straws than usual, what the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) call On The Go plastics. Data collected goes to MCS to support their campaigns and calls for legislation.

Even more significant were larger pieces of unnatural items, such as paraffin wax and solidified palm oil, and these will go to Cefas for investigation. Also found were sea urchins and star fish, possibly harmful for what they might have ingested, so please keep your dog’s safe.

Rain and snow melt sits heavily on fields and swells the rivers. Along the Stour catchment increased sedimentation and run-off from the fields brought pesticides and nutrients such as phosphorous into the water. High water levels displaced swans and moorhens who had been trying to establish nest sites, and faster flowing river causes bank erosion as there isn’t enough vegetation growth to keep the banks in place.

Nature, as I was saying last time, is a great healer, and at times we must respect its power too.

First published in the East Anglian Daily Times on 17 March 2018

By Cathy Smith on July 12th, 2018

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