Summer weather wettest on record
The early summer has been the wettest since records began more than 240 years ago, the Met Office has confirmed. Figures covering three months up to 23 July show more than 387mm (15.2in) of rain fell in England and Wales. That is more than double the average of 186mm (7.3in) for the period, resulting in two bouts of devastating floods in parts of England in June and July.
The previous biggest summer deluge since records started in 1766 came in 1789 when almost 350mm (13.8in) fell. This year some places had almost three times their expected rainfall. In contrast, parts of the west coast of Scotland experienced less rain than expected. Severe floods have hit areas such as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire since Friday. Rising waters have affected electricity and running water supplies and rail services.
In June, people in South Yorkshire, Humberside and Lincolnshire were among those struck by extreme flooding. The month of April, however, saw record breaking high temperatures, sunshine and virtually no rain in some areas. Rainfall was generally well below average across the UK, with south east England and East Anglia seeing less than 3mm. The statistics show it was the driest April since 1980 and the fourth driest since records began. All regions set records for maximum and mean temperatures, with a high of 26.5C recorded at Herstmonceux in East Sussex on 15 April.