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Umbrellas and Wellingtons

Grassclippings - Paddling in Puddles2012 was the second wettest year in British history, the Met Office revealed in early January.  The weather since has certainly not improved since with the great thaw resulting in more flooding.

Official figures show that 1,330mm (52.4 inches) of rain fell in the past 12 months - just 7mm short of the highest total reached in 2000.  Depressingly this new data also shows that four of the five wettest years ever to hit the UK have been since the Millennium.

The top five wettest years in the records dating back to 1910 are 2000, 2012, 1954, 2008 and 2002.  It came as Met Office figures also showed the number of days of extreme rainfall is also hitting record levels, meaning the UK can expect more years of floods.  The UK as a whole had 15 per cent more rainfall than average during the year, with England experiencing almost a third more rain than normal.

Overall 2012 was the wettest year on record for England and the third wettest for Wales, but Scotland experienced only its 17th wettest year and in Northern Ireland it was the 40th wettest.

TOP FIVE WETTEST YEARS THE UK HAS EVER SUFFERED

1.    2000 – 1337.3mm

2.    2012 – 1330.7mm

3.    1954 – 1309.1 mm

4.    2008 – 1295.0mm

5.    2002 – 1283.7mm

Almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded last year as the UK was repeatedly battered by heavy rain, storms and floods.  But 2012 began with a number of water companies imposing hosepipe bans as swathes of England faced drought following two dry winters.

The dry weather then gave way to persistent rain, with the UK experiencing a record April and June, and the wettest summer in a century.  Farmers’ crops were hit by the unusually wet summer, while much of the UK’s wildlife struggled in the poor conditions, with only a few species including slugs and orchids thriving.

The Met Office said changes in sea surface temperatures as a result of natural cycles and a reduction in the amount of Arctic sea ice could be helping to increase rainfall, but more research needed to be done to establish how big a role they were playing.  Read more on The Daily Mail

Time to get your lawn mower serviced in the meantime...

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