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Met Office: 2012 was UK’s second wettest year on record

By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News

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A look back at a year of extreme weather

The past 12 months were the second wettest on record in the UK, according to data released by the Met Office.

The total rainfall for the UK during 2012 was 1,330.7mm (52.4in), just 6.6mm short of the record set in 2000.

Most areas were affected by the extreme weather, with thousands of homes flooded and farmers struggling to grow crops in the saturated soil.

The latest data comes as analysis says the frequency of extreme rainfall in the UK may be increasing.

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Top five wettest years in the UK

1. 2000 – 1,337.3mm

2. 2012 – 1,330.7mm

3. 1954 – 1,309.1mm

4. 2008 – 1,295.0mm

5. 2002 – 1,283.7mm

(Source: Met Office)

BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said statistics showed that days of particularly heavy rainfall had become more common since 1960.

The study into extreme rain was based on statistics from the National Climate Information Centre, the UK’s official climate record.

The Met Office said this was the wettest year on record for England, the third wettest for Wales, the 17th wettest on record for Scotland and the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland.

The records date back to 1910.

The Met Office added that four of the top five wettest years had occurred since 2000.

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