2007 may be wettest summer in over 90 years

Severe rainfall and floods across the UK could make this the wettest summer since 1914, suggest new rainfall figures released by weather forecasters.

Flood water wader: caught up in the summer deluge in Oxfordshire

Flood water wader: caught up in the summer deluge in Oxfordshire

The Met Office's provisional rainfall figures up to the end of August show that the UK as a whole had 358.5mm of rain, just beating the previous record of 358.4mm in 1956.

Additional data expected by the Met Office may push this summer to second place.

While rainfall was high, overall average temperatures in the UK this summer were a coolish 14.1 degrees Celsius.

Although some environmentalists claim that climate change is the root of extreme rainfall, the Met Office isn't pointing fingers just yet:

"We can't directly link climate change to the rainfall this past summer," Met Office meteorologist John Hammonds told edie.

"However, it does tie in with other extreme events around the world...and there can be some more of this to come, like wetter weather and more downpours."

The past summer in the UK has seen extreme flash flooding across the country. It is estimated that floods in June and July alone, which affected about 15,000 homes, could cost insurers up to £3.25 billion.

The Met Office says the wet summer has been largely caused by the position of the jet stream, a ribbon of very strong winds, which brings weather systems across the UK.

South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire were struck by severe flooding in June, followed by extreme floods over the last month in areas including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Met Office Head of Forecasting, Keith Groves, said: "These [new] figures confirm what most people have already been thinking - this summer has been very wet and very disappointing for most."

Dana Gornitzki



Waste & resource management
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