England soaked by record rainfall in last 18 months, new Met Office figures show

2 April 2024, 14:48 | Updated: 2 April 2024, 18:43

England saw a record amount of rainfall in the year and a half leading up to last month, new figures show.

According to provisional figures from the Met Office, 1,695.9mm of rain fell from October 2022 to March 2024.

This is the highest amount of rain for any 18-month period in England since the organisation began collecting comparable data back in 1836.

It beat the previous record of 1,680.2mm - which had only been set the month before, covering September 2022 to February 2024.

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The third-highest figure on record, 1,668.4mm, was set in the 18 months up to January 2021.

Beyond England, across the entire UK, the 18 months leading up to last month marked the fourth-wettest such period since records began - with 2,085.6mm of rain.

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Met Office scientist Emily Carlisle said: "Many will remember how wet March has been, with a succession of fronts and the influence of low pressure seemingly never too far away from the UK.

"Coming off the back of a wet winter and what has been a wet start to the year, many areas have very saturated ground, which has increased the sensitivity to rainfall events in recent weeks."

Sky News weather producer, Joanna Robinson, said the wet conditions were "down to the placement of the jet stream, which has often been close to or over the UK delivering low pressure systems and plenty of rain".

She added: "It's also been mild, with warmer air which is able to hold more water. For each 1C rise in temperature, the atmosphere can hold 7% more water vapour."

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It follows an unsettled picture across much of the country over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Looking ahead to the rest of this week, the Met Office said "spells of rain and showers" will continue over the coming days, with conditions "becoming increasingly windy".

"Rather mild in the south and turning increasingly mild in the north after a chilly start," they added.