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Map of the week: Rainfall

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Mark Easton | 08:35 UK time, Monday, 21 July 2008

Into each life some rain must fall, as Longfellow noted. But too much is falling in mine, as Ella complained.

My map of the week shows that almost the whole of the UK has seen rather more of the wet stuff in the first six months of this year than recent history suggests we deserve.

Map showing rainfall in the UK from January-June 2008

With the exception of the south west, the whole country has seen above average rainfall compared with the average of the years 1961 to 1990. Pretty much everywhere north of Stoke-on-Trent has been "very wet".

According to the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology to whom I owe thanks for the map [pdf], "the UK rainfall total for June was appreciably above average but, in contrast to May, southern Britain was relatively dry whilst very unsettled conditions afflicted northern areas, from mid-month especially - terminating some notable dry spells".

So that's the last two months, but overall it is a soggy Britain we see. And the first couple of weeks of July have been unusually damp too.

So no hosepipe ban this year but we have got a fair amount of localised flooding.

Unusual weather or changing climate? It is probably too early to tell but perhaps Longfellow was right to say that "some days must be dark and dreary".

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