June is 'one of the wettest months on record'


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This month is set to be one of the wettest Junes on record, figures from the Met Office showed today.

Heavy rainfall up to June 24 puts the month as the third wettest for the UK in records dating back more than a century to 1910.

The month has so far seen an average of 122.3mm (4.8 inches) of rain falling across the UK, one and a half times the usual amount for June, the Met Office said.

The exceptional amount of rain puts this month just behind the second wettest June in 1912, and a little way off the wettest June in 2007, when 136.2 mm (5.4 inches) of rain fell, prompting widespread flooding.

This June the rainy weather, which has followed the wettest April on record, also caused floods in parts of England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "Clearly there are several more days to go and there is some rainfall in the forecast, so it's impossible to say exactly where the month will finish in the overall records. However, it's safe to say it has been a disappointingly wet month."

The rainfall has not been evenly distributed, and while England and Wales have both so far suffered their second wettest Junes on record, Scotland has only seen a little more rain than average.

The wet conditions in more southerly parts of the UK was due to the position of the jet stream, a narrow band of fast flowing westerly winds high in the atmosphere which affects the UK's weather, the experts said.

Throughout this month the jet stream has had a more southerly track, allowing low pressure systems which normally pass to the north of the UK to come straight over the country, bringing heavy rain to more southern areas while the far north west remains unusually dry.

Some areas have seen an exceptionally large amount of rain, with 52 observation sites breaking record rainfall totals for the month.

Some of these sites have only been going for a short time but in the case of one, Otterbourne in Hampshire, it has been the wettest June in 119 years.

But six weather stations are currently still below their lowest ever June rainfall total.

The Met Office said the drier stations were generally in the far north and west of the UK, where normally the most rain would be expected.