Is 2012 the wettest year on record?

31 12 2012

We announced last week that 2012 is already the wettest year for England in our records dating back to 1910, but we’re still waiting to hear whether it’s the wettest on record for the UK.

The latest figures we have for 2012 go from 1 January to 26 December, and show that during that time we’ve had 1291.2 mm of rain for the UK – meaning it is currently the 4th wettest year on record.

It’s 46.1 mm short of the record of 1337.3 mm, set in 2000, so if 46.2 mm of rain falls between 27-31 December we will have a new record.

It’s likely to be fairly close-run, but it’s impossible to say whether 2012 is a UK record for rainfall until all the data come in from our weather observation sites around the country.

This information should come in on the 1st and 2nd of January, then all the data will need to be processed and we expect to have a provisional answer on Thursday, 3rd January.

We’ll post the news here on our blog as soon as all the provisional statistics for 2012 come in.





How wet has 2012 been? Is it a record breaker?

27 12 2012

Provisional figures from the Met Office from 1 January to 26 December 2012 show that some parts of the UK have already had their wettest year on record.

New records have been set in England (1095.8 mm), northern England (1253 mm), E and NE England (1042.1 mm), Midlands (1048.2 mm), and East Anglia (788 mm), in a series that goes back to 1910.

A further 46 mm of rain is needed from 27 to 31 December for this to be the wettest year on record for the UK overall – the UK has had 1291.2 mm of rain from 1 January to 26 December. The wettest year on record for the UK is 2000 with 1337.3 mm.

2012 rainfall anomaly 1 Jan to 26 Dec

2012 rainfall anomaly 1 Jan to 26 Dec

In terms of temperature and sunshine the year as a whole is set to be unremarkable, both being around normal. However, overall 2012 is set to be cooler than 2011, but warmer than 2010.

  mean temperature sunshine duration precipitation
1 January to 26 December 2012 Actual Difference from 1981-2010 average Actual Percentage of 1981-2010 average Actual Percentage of 1981-2010 average
  degC degC hours % mm %
UK 8.7 -0.1 1354.1 99 1291.2 112
England 9.5 -0.1 1467.1 98 1095.8 128
Wales 9.1 -0.1 1354.0 97 1649.5 113
Scotland 7.3 -0.1 1186.8 100 1546.3 98
N Ireland 8.9 0.0 1234.0 98 1134.8 100
England & Wales 9.5 -0.1 1451.5 98 1172.2 125
England N 8.7 -0.1 1357.0 99 1253.0 129
England S 9.9 -0.1 1525.4 98 1012.6 128

More about the record breaking year of 2012





Was it a white Christmas?

26 12 2012

Using technology such as radar, webcams and ground based sensors combined with the expert opinion of experienced forecasters, the Met Office is able to declare whether or not (YES or NO) snow fell at the following locations on Christmas Day 2012:

London (Buckingham Palace)       NO 
Belfast (Aldergrove Airport)    NO
Liverpool (Albert Dock)        NO           
Brize Norton                    NO
Aberdeen (Pittodrie – Aberdeen FC)  NO           
Hurn                            NO
Glasgow Cathedral         NO           
Marham                          NO
Edinburgh (Castle)   NO           
Albemarle                       NO
Exeter Met Office         NO           
Filton                          NO
Manchester (Coronation Street) NO           
Andrewsfield                    NO
Leeds (Elland Road)   NO                
Waddington                   NO
Birmingham (Bullring)        NO           
Watnall                         NO
Cardiff (Millennium Stadium)        NO                   
Church Fenton                   NO





Top ten: Coldest Christmas days

25 12 2012

Merry Christmas from the Met Office.

The coldest Christmas day on record was in 2010 (and it was also the snowiest) with a minimum temperature of – 18.2 °C recorded at Altnaharra. The chart below shows the top ten minimum temperatures recorded on Christmas day (excluding high level sites).

Location Minimum temperature   Date
1   Altnaharra - 18.2 °C 25/12/2010
2   West Linton  – 15.6 °C 25/12/1981
3   Altnaharra - 15.5 °C 25/12/2009
4   Altnaharra - 12.8 °C 25/12/1996
5   Lagganlia  – 9.5 °C 25/12/1973
6   Dalwhinnie - 9.4 °C 25/12/1995
7   Aboyne - 9.4 °C 25/12/2006
8   Kindrogan - 8.8 °C 25/12/1972
9   Glenlivet - 8.5 °C 25/12/2000
10   Lower Kingcombe - 8 °C 25/12/1994
10   Tulloch Bridge - 8 °C 25/12/2005
10   Aboyne - 8 °C 25/12/2007

Read more top tens.





Recent rainfall totals

24 12 2012

Rain has continued to cause disruption across parts of the UK, with overnight rain adding to significant totals over the past few days.

The wettest place in the UK (and Scotland) since the heavy rainfall began on 19th December to 6am this morning has been Tyndrum in Perthshire, with 155.0 mm of rain.

Cardinham near Bodmin, Cornwall, is the wettest place in England with 128.8 mm of rain and the wettest place in Wales has been Mumbles Head, West Glamorgan, with 107.0 mm of rain.

Ballypatrick Forest in Antrim has been the wettest place in Northern Ireland, with 89.0 mm of rain.

Some areas have exceeded their full-month December average since the 19th – such as Plymouth, Devon, which has seen 128.8mm of rain compared to a December average of 118.8 mm.

Below is a table of the wettest places in the UK from 0000 HRS on 19th December to 0600 HRS today, 24th December. The final column shows the monthly average for December, clearly showing some places have exceeded their monthly totals:

SITE NAME AREA PRECIP AMOUNT(mm) DEC AVG(mm)
TYNDRUM PERTHSHIRE 155.0 300.9
CARDINHAM CORNWALL 128.8 155.1
PLYMOUTH DEVON 127.4 118.8
LISCOMBE SOMERSET 125.2 171.2
OKEHAMPTON DEVON 115.0 184.2
MUMBLES HEAD WEST GLAMORGAN 107.0 110.3
TREDEGAR GWENT 102.2 169.0
CARDIFF, BUTE PARK SOUTH GLAMORGAN 97.0 125.3
SENNYBRIDGE NO 2 POWYS 96.2 179.5
ST ATHAN SOUTH GLAMORGAN 93.2 122.4
DYCE ABERDEENSHIRE 92.4 76.1
CARTERHOUSE ROXBURGHSHIRE 92.4 132.0
CRAIBSTONE ABERDEENSHIRE 92.0 79.8
BALLYPATRICK FOREST ANTRIM 89.0 133.9

There is more unsettled weather to come this week, so for the latest information keep up to date with our forecasts and warnings.





Infographic: 2012 weather review of the year

21 12 2012

Hover over the image to link through to more detail on the UK weather in 2012.

Met Office Wettest June on record Be #weatheraware Met Office Twitter Wettest April Wettest June Weather in 2012 The UK's wet summer The coldest temperatures of winter Sunny March, wet April, how the jet stream is partly to blame Hottest day of the year so far Strong wind in January




Heavy rain brings over 100mm of rain to parts of Scotland – rainfall totals across the UK

21 12 2012

There has been some very wet weather across much of the UK seeing well over an inch of rain in the last 24 hours. The wettest place in the UK, in the 48 hours to 6 am this morning is Tyndrum, Perthshire with 102.4 mm of rain, with 94.6 mm of this falling in the last 24 hours.

The wettest place in England was Cardinham, Cornwall with 62.8 mm, in Northern Ireland was Ballypatrick Forest, Antrim with 57.8 mm and in Wales it was Tredegar Park with 54.4 mm of rain.

Although there will continue to be some patchy outbreaks of rain across eastern parts of Scotland today, generally the rain will continue to ease leaving a drier day for many, before more heavy rain pushes into the southwest of England later this evening and across Scotland tomorrow morning.

48 hour UK Rainfall Totals 19 Dec 0600 am – 21 Dec 0600 am
Stations recording more than 40 mm

SITE NAME AREA PRECIP AMOUNT(mm)
TYNDRUM PERTHSHIRE 102.4
CARTERHOUSE ROXBURGHSHIRE 68.2
CARDINHAM, BODMIN CORNWALL 62.8
SHAP CUMBRIA 61.6
BALLYPATRICK FOREST ANTRIM 57.8
PLYMOUTH, MOUNTBATTEN DEVON 55.6
STRATHALLAN AIRFIELD PERTHSHIRE 54.6
TREDEGAR, BRYN BACH PARK GWENT 54.4
PATELEY BRIDGE, RAVENS NEST NORTH YORKSHIRE 53.8
RAVENSWORTH NORTH YORKSHIRE 53.4
BINGLEY WEST YORKSHIRE 51.8
DUNDRENNAN KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE 50.8
THORNEY ISLAND WEST SUSSEX 49.4
SHOREHAM AIRPORT WEST SUSSEX 49.2
USK MONMOUTHSHIRE 48.4
NOTTINGHAM, WATNALL NOTTINGHAMSHIRE 48.4
CARDIFF, BUTE PARK SOUTH GLAMORGAN 48.2
HURN DORSET 47.8
MURLOUGH DOWN 46.6
THREAVE KIRKCUDBRIGHTSHIRE 45.8
WEST FREUGH WIGTOWNSHIRE 45.6
LEUCHARS FIFE 45
MUMBLES HEAD WEST GLAMORGAN 45
CAPEL CURIG GWYNEDD 44.8
RONALDSWAY ISLE OF MAN 44
BRAMHAM WEST YORKSHIRE 43.6
GLASGOW, BISHOPTON RENFREWSHIRE 43
DISHFORTH AIRFIELD NORTH YORKSHIRE 42.8
HAMPSTEAD GREATER LONDON 41.4
SWANAGE DORSET 41
CAMBORNE CORNWALL 40.8
SENNYBRIDGE POWYS 40.8
TRAWSGOED DYFED 40.4

As the wet weather continues into the weekend we have issued a number of severe weather warnings. It is important people are weather aware by staying up to date with these during this period of unsettled weather. Amber warnings mean you need to be prepared for the weather and take steps to change your plans and protect you and your family or community from the impacts of the severe weather based on the forecast from the Met Office. We’d advise people in the areas affected to expect some disruption and take precautions if they are in an area at risk from heavy rain and flooding.





Persistent rainfall across the UK

20 12 2012

We all know the UK sees a good deal of rainfall, but it’s not often you cannot see the country at all on a rainfall radar image like the one below.

Rainfall radar image from 6.50 am this morning

Rainfall radar image from 6.50 am this morning

As you can see from the picture, taken from 6.50 am this morning, rain is falling widely across a large part of the UK.

Some places have seen persistent rain since the early hours of yesterday (Wednesday) morning, with some fairly high rainfall totals.

Rainfall totals in the table below are from 00:00 am on 19 December to 10:00 am on 20 December

Station Area Rainfall (mm)
Plymouth, Mountbatten Devon 55
Cardinham, Bodmin Cornwall 54.6
Camborne Cornwall 49.2
Tredegar, Bryn Bach Park Gwent 44.8
Thorney Island West Sussex 43.6
Hurn Dorset 42.8
Cardiff, Bute Park South Glamorgan 42
Shoreham Airport West Sussex 41
Usk Monmouthshire 40
Ballypatrick Forest Antrim 39.8

More rain is expected to fall over the next few days, which is likely to cause localised flooding and disruption to travel in the run up to the festive period.

During this period of unsettled weather we’d advise people to stay up to date with the Met Office’s weather forecasts and warnings.

If heading out on a journey, check local traffic updates and allow additional time for potential for delays.





Top ten: Snowiest Christmas days

18 12 2012

Snow at Christmas is recorded in two ways – the number of stations that reported snow falling, and the number of stations that recorded snow on the ground at 9 am. The two charts show the snowiest Christmases for both measures since 1959.
snowatchristmas
The snowiest Christmas in terms of snow on the ground was in 2010, when 83% of stations recorded snow.

Year Percentage of stations reporting snow lying
1 2010 83%
2 2009 57%
3 1981 52%
4 1995 40%
5 2004 34%
6 1999 30%
7 1964 22%
8 1993 21%
9 1970 20%
10 1968 14%

The year when the highest number of stations reported snow falling was 2004, when 61% of stations reported snowfall.

Year Percentage of stations reporting snowfall
1 2004 61%
2 1970 57%
3 1993 51%
4 1995 49%
5 1964 47%
6 1968 43%
7 1999 42%
8 2001 40%
9 2000 35%
10 1966 31%

Visit our website to see the full history of snow at Christmas or find out how much snow we get in the UK each year.





Will it snow this Christmas?

17 12 2012

With just over a week to go to Christmas Day we are being asked whether the cold weather will return to give us a white Christmas.

Unfortunately it’s still a little too early to say exactly what the weather will bring to the UK on the big day, but it does look as though the early predictions quoted in the press of snow falling in many places on Christmas Day and more recent white Christmas is “a dead cert” could end up being somewhat wide of the mark.

The current Met Office UK Outlook for Sunday 23 Dec 2012 to Tuesday 1 Jan 2013 suggests that the unsettled conditions we have at the moment are expected to continue until the New Year:

“The rather changeable weather is likely to persist into the beginning of January with low pressure expected to be dominant near the British Isles. The north of the UK is most likely to see colder than average conditions, with relatively typical amounts of rainfall. During the same period, temperatures over the south are likely to be closer to average whilst rainfall amounts may be a little above average. Uncertainty then increases significantly into the final week of the period, with no clear weather type favoured, perhaps indicating less unsettled conditions.”

Of course we will continue to update the forecast as Christmas approaches, with the first forecast for the day itself published on our website later this week.

So if you are in search of a white Christmas signs are that many of us may be a little disappointed again this year, but you can find out more about white Christmases in the UK in the following video:








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