Is 2014 the wettest January ever?

28 January 2014

Well, the statistics are hard to find per month, so perhaps we can rephrase that: will 2014 be the wettest year ever? It would have to ‘go some’ to beat the record books, to be honest.

British meteorologist George Symons (1838-1900), the author of Rain: How, When, Where, Why It Is Measured (1867), published a table of rainfall for the period 1726-1865, listing 1852 as the wettest year with 1,266mm of rain (49.84 inches). In 1872, this was beaten by an average annual rainfall that holds the record to this day.

The wettest places in terms of average annual rainfall are definitely in the north of England and Scotland. Based on the Meteorological Office’s 30-year averages for the period 1961-1990, the wettest inhabited places (villages and towns) in Great Britain were Dalness, Glen Etive (Highland) with an average annual rainfall of 3,306mm! Closely followed – and still in the 3,000mm range – by Seathwaite, near Borrowdale (Cumbria) and Glenfinnan, Loch Shiel (Highland).

I am sure that the Somerset levels could give these locations a run for their money right now….

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