Suffolk escaped lightly on Britain’s wettest ever day!
- Credit: Archant
Britain suffered its wettest day on record earlier this month as the entire country got a drenching on Saturday, October 3.
An average of 31.77mm (an inch and a quarter) of rain fell across the country – the highest average ever seen for a single day in records stretching back to 1891. That was enough rain falling over the country to fill Loch Ness.
But while East Anglia did get wet, the rainfall here was less than it was in some other parts of the country.
Meteorologist Fred Best from Norwich-based Weatherquest said: “We did see rain that day – 5mm at Wattisham, 8mm at Cavendish and 6.2mm at Charsfield – but they are not really exceptional figures overall.
“What made that day so exceptional was that rain fell everywhere across the country – but we got less than other places like the north of England, Scotland and central southern England. It was the average across the country that was so high.”
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Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: “In climate statistics, 2019 will be remembered for possessing the UK’s hottest day, whereas 2020 will be associated with rainfall records.”
He said the volume of rain that fell across the UK was more than the capacity of Loch Ness, the largest lake in the country by volume, holding 7.4 cubic kilometres of water.
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Mr McCarthy added: “It is exceptional to have 30 to 50mm or more of rain falling so extensively across the UK – from the south coast of England to the north coast of Scotland – in a single day.”
Climate change is increasing the risk of more extreme weather, such as more intense heavy downpours, scientists warn.
Grahame Madge, a climate spokesman for the Met Office, said: “The UK’s rainfall record contains many extreme events but it is clear from the UK’s climate projections that with warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers we can expect increasingly more extreme rainfall records toward the end of the century.
“There is a simple relationship between a warmer atmosphere and an increased amount of moisture in the atmosphere – this again suggests that the UK is likely to witness increased rainfall and more record-breaking events.”
The Met Office said the start of October has been very wet, with the UK overall already having 68% of its average rainfall for the month.
More than 20 counties across the country have already received at least 100% of the rain they would expect on average for October, including Buckinghamshire with 139% of the month’s rainfall, Berkshire with 138% and Hertfordshire with 132%. Essex has already received its average rainfall for the month only half way through October – and Suffolk is only 10mm below average with two weeks of the month left.