Winter 2013/14 confirmed as wettest on record
Although it has only just been announced by the Met Office, it confirms what most of us thought would be the case anyway. This winter has been the wettest on record for the UK, since records began in 1910.
The jet stream has been in a frenzy this winter, estimated to have been 30 per cent stronger that normal – often rushing across the Atlantic at a speed of 200mph or above, five miles up.
Such a powerful jet stream has spawned storm after storm, before catapulting them towards us. The relentless onslaught of heavy rain and severe gales is what has led to so many records being broken.
Wet, wet wet…
Provisional figures, released by the Met Office yesterday, show that the UK has had 486.8mm of rain up until the 19 February.
This beats the previous record of 485.1mm set in 1995, and there are still another nine days of rainfall for the rest of February to add to this.
Wales has also had its wettest winter on record, with 691.8mm of rain, beating the previous record of 684.1mm, which was also set in 1995.
Southern regions of England have also had their wettest winter on record, beating a previous record set in 1915.
The map below shows how the Midlands and southern parts of England have had the greatest amount of rainfall this winter, with more than double the average.
When looking at these rainfall figures, it is no surprise that southern parts of England have been hit so hard by flooding this winter.
Some places were getting a month’s worth of rain in a matter of days. This, coupled with saturated ground and high river levels, has meant that flooding has been severe and long-lasting – especially on the Somerset Levels.
The latest weekly water situation for England, issued by the Environment Agency, shows that river flows are above normal across almost everywhere. In southern England, river flows along the Thames are exceptionally high.
Although the weather has been relatively calmer this week, from this weekend onwards, heavier rain will start to spread off the Atlantic with brisk winds.
Granted it won’t be anywhere near as stormy as the weather during the past few months. But given how much water is already in the ground and rivers, the situation will need to be closley monitored.