Winter wettest on record - Met Office

As John Hammond explains, it has been hard to miss the wet weather this winter

Related Stories

With a week still to go in the winter, the UK's rainfall record for the season has already been broken.

The incessant storms and rainfall over the past two months have made this the wettest winter since records began in 1910.

According to provisional figures from the Met Office, the UK received 486.8mm of rain between 1 December 2013 and 19 February 2014.

This beat the previous record of 485.1mm of rain set in 1995.

A winter that can generate no fewer than five new records for rainfall before it's even over is certainly exceptional and may prove to be unprecedented.

The Met Office's map is startling for two reasons: the intensity of the dark blue marking the areas hit with rainfall that was more than twice the seasonal average and the sheer size of the regions affected.

This wild winter is remarkable not just for the sheer volumes of water that have landed but also for the persistence with which the storms have repeatedly delivered them.

For many of the people affected, today's statistics will come as no surprise. For the scientists trying to understand what's behind the weather - including everything from a jetstream that's been stuck to a warmer atmosphere that can carry more moisture - the figures will keep them busy for years.

The amount of rainfall recorded in Wales was also a new record for the winter.

There have also been new record winter totals in east Scotland, southwest England and south Wales.

The southeast and central southern England region broke the winter record on 11 February with a total of 439.2mm, smashing the previous one that had lasted since 1914-1915.

Most of the UK is also on target for a warmer than average winter, the Met Office said.

BBC weather forecaster John Hammond said: "It is stating the obvious but it is remarkable nonetheless. Our data goes back to 1910 - over a hundred years' worth of data and it's smashed it.

"The previous record was set in 1995 but just over the last day or so we've topped that one - we're already almost at 500mm of rain."

Rainfall records broken

486.8mm

Rain fell from 1 Dec - 19 Feb

- wettest winter since 1910

  • 691.8mm rain fell in Wales, beating 1995 record

  • 514.5mm rain fell in east Scotland, beating 1915 record

  • 632.5mm rain fell in south west England, beating 1990 record.

GETTY

And it may not yet be over. Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young said showers and some heavier rain are expected, along with sunny spells, over the next few days.

In addition, a band of rain will go across the UK on Sunday, mainly focusing on the west of the country.

Infographic

The heavy rain this winter brought extensive flooding to parts of the UK.

Earlier on Thursday, David Cameron announced that the government's scheme to provide grants for homeowners in England hit by the floods would begin on 1 April.

Claimants will be eligible for payments of up to £5,000, to help cover future protection for properties.

Country Year Rainfall Winter 2014 to date

UK

2014

486.8mm

New record

England

1915

392.7mm

370.4mm

Wales

2014

691.8mm

New record

Scotland

1995

649.5mm

634.3mm

Northern Ireland

1994

489.7mm

434.5mm

But they will not cover the damage or losses already suffered.

Mr Cameron said the government was taking "decisive action across the board", but Labour said ministers have been "off the pace".

About 6,500 homes have been affected by flooding since December, and the prime minister has said "money is no object" to support the clean-up operation.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Science & Environment stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

BBC Future

(Getty Images)

The secrets of fake flavours

And the curious myth of artificial banana Read more...

Programmes

  • Dog wearing GoPro camera harnessClick Watch

    A camera harness for dogs, calls for more social media safeguards plus other tech news

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.