Summer 2012 was the wettest in 100 years

Umbrella on the beach

4 September 2012 - Met Office figures for this summer show that it was the second wettest across the UK in the national record that goes back to 1910 and the wettest since 1912.

Figures for June, July and August show that 370.7 mm of rain fell across the UK, making it the second wettest summer on record since the 384.4 mm of rain seen in the summer of 1912.

These latest figures follow a record wet April, and an April to June period that was also the wettest recorded in the UK.

August 2012 was the driest and sunniest of the three summer months across the UK with 109.5 mm of rain and 154 hours of sunshine. The mean temperature for August was 15.3 °C, in a month that also saw the hottest day of the year so far, reaching 32.4 °C at Cavendish, Suffolk on the 18th.

Summer 2012 was also one of the dullest summers on record with just 413 hours of sunshine. This makes it the dullest summer since 1987 when the UK saw only 402 hours of sunshine.

To complete the disappointing picture, it has also been a relatively cool summer with a mean temperature of 13.9 °C, some 0.4 °C below the long term average. Despite this it was a little warmer than the summer of 2011 which saw a mean temperature of only 13.7 °C.

Unsettled weather has never been far from the UK during the past three months. Movements in the track of the jet stream, a narrow band of fast flowing westerly winds high in the atmosphere, have contributed to the weather we have seen. This summer has seen periods of heavy and prolonged rain, as well as short but exceptionally heavy thundery downpours and only brief warm sunny spells.

Looking at the individual countries of the UK, it was the second wettest summer on record in England, third wettest in Wales, eighth in Northern Ireland, and the sixth wettest in Scotland. For sunshine it was the fourth dullest summer in England, the fifth dullest in Wales, ninth in Scotland and the 15th in Northern Ireland.

As the UK's national meteorological service the Met Office holds the official weather and climate records for the UK on behalf of the nation. These historic climate records and series are used to monitor the climate of the UK at a national and regional level.

Last updated: 12 February 2016

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