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01 April 2004 1405 BST
Graphic: A-Z of Norfolk Science, W: Weird Weather
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Lightning lights up the sky

BBC Look East's weather presenter Julie Reinger explains some of Norfolk's stranger meteorological moments.

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Weird weather
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W is for weird weather and Norfolk has certainly had its fair share.

It frequently rains "cats and dogs" but in Great Yarmouth it has actually rained fish!

Picture: Raining fish
It's raining fish!

On Sunday August 6, 2000 the skies opened and down fell a shower of dead sprats.

A mini-tornado swept up the tiny silver fish from the North Sea and carried them two miles before depositing them on the seaside resort.

Another tornado swept through the village of Long Stratton on December 14, 1989.

This one left a trail of total devastation and around £1 million worth of damage.

Chimneys and roof tiles were ripped off buildings, car windows were smashed and a caravan was tipped on it's side.

Weather presenter Julie Reinger

Remarkably only one person was injured.

The Fen Blows

Residents of the Norfolk Fenlands have been known to find their washing and windows covered in a thick black dust.

It's the result of a weather phenomenon known as the "Fen Blows".

If we have a lot of rain followed by very dry conditions, the ground becomes cracked and dusty. If it is then whipped up by a keen wind it can result in a soilstorm.

Unusual and rather messy, it's the equivalent of a sandstorm in the Sahara Desert.

Recommended reading
By Sheila McKeown, a librarian at the Millennium Library in Norwich.

Story Weather: Horrible Geography, by Anita Ganari. Hippo 1999, ISBN 0439011213.

Forecasting the Weather by Alan Rodgers. Heinemann 2002, ISBN 0431038449.

You can get hold of these books through your local library.


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