Flooding and “extreme” rain could become far more commonplace in the UK Photo: Rui Vieira/PA
The total rainfall of 1330.7mm (52.38in) was just 6.6mm (0.25in) less than the wettest ever year, 2000, despite Britain experiencing a drought for the first three months of 2012.
But the picture varied widely across the country, with 2012 being the wettest ever year in England, but only the 40th wettest in Northern Ireland, the 17th wettest in Scotland and the third wettest in Wales. Northern Scotland was considerably dryer than average.
Four of the five wettest years since records began in 1910 have happened this century, and the Met Office has warned that “extreme” rainfall, and the floods it can cause, is getting more frequent, possibly as a result of climate change.
Extreme rainfall is classed as the sort of heavy downpour that only occurs once every 100 days on average, but the latest figures show that such storms are now occurring about once every 70 days.
Britain’s average annual rainfall has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years, with the 30-year average rising from 1100mm (43.3in) in 1961-1990 to 1154mm (45.4in) in 1981-2010.
The Telegraph has the full article