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Record wet January for parts of southern Britain

Early Met Office statistics for January 2014 show that the southeast and central southern England region has already had its wettest January in records going back to 1910, with three days still to go.

A large area of southern England from East Devon to Kent and inland across parts of the midlands has already seen twice the average rainfall for the month.

Southeast and central southern England has received more than twice its average rainfall with 175.2 mm of rain from 1 - 28 January. This beats the previous record of 158.2 mm set in January 1988.

Further west across southwest England and south Wales the 222.6 mm of rainfall up to the 28th means January 2014 is already the 5th wettest on record and the wettest January since 1995 (224.4 mm). The wettest January on record here was 1948 when 244.3 mm of rain was recorded.

For the UK as a whole 164.6 mm of rain has fallen so far this month, 35 % above the long term average, with all nations having above average rainfall.

We have seen quite a contrast from south to north across the UK, with northern Scotland having received 83 % of its long term average rainfall so far this month, a sharp contrast to the 200 % over southern England.

1 - 28 January 2014 rainfall totals1-28 January 2014 rainfall anomaly map

Wet weather in winter usually means it's been mild and that has been the case this January. The UK mean temperature up to the 28th is 4.9 °C, 1.2 °C above average.

Provisional Met Office statistics 1 - 28 January 2014
Mean temperature (°C)Sunshine (hrs)Rainfall (mm)
ActualDifference from 81-10 averageActual % of 81-10 averageActual% of 81-10 average
Northern Ireland4.50.333.174145.3125

Looking at the winter season so far, the whole of the UK is on target for a wetter than average winter.

Southeast and central southern England is already seeing its 6th wettest winter since 1910 and its wettest winter since 1995 (369.7 mm). The wettest winter on record was 1915 with 437.1 mm.

The main reason for the mild and wet weather so far is that we have seen a predominance of west and south-west winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic - as well as the unsettled and at times stormy conditions.

A full summary of the weather this January will be available on the Met Office Climate summaries early in February.

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