2012 had wettest April for 100 years, Met Office says

Aerial video shows Somerset floods

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It has been the wettest April in the UK for over 100 years, with some areas seeing three times their usual average, figures from the Met Office show.

Some 121.8mm of rain has fallen, beating the previous record of 120.3mm which was set in 2000.

Flood warnings are in place with up to 20mm to 30mm of rain forecast for southern England on Monday night.

A 52-year-old man has died after his car became submerged at a ford south of Newbury following heavy rain.

The man and his dog died when a Toyota Yaris was trapped in "5ft of fast-flowing water" as it drove across the ford on Thornford Road, Compton Wood.

The Badminton Horse Trials, in Gloucestershire, have been cancelled for the second time in their history because of a waterlogged course.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning with severe weather expected in parts of Devon, Dorst and Somerset.

It says further flooding is possible and driving conditions may be difficult.

There are 37 flood warnings in place, including 20 in south-west England and a handful each in the Midlands, north-east England and East Anglia. There are also 155 less serious alerts.

The Environment Agency is remaining on high alert for flooding into Tuesday across southern England, but particularly in Somerset, Dorset and Devon, a spokeswoman said.

"River flows are high after this weekend's rainfall and we are keeping a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding," she said.

Tewkesbury, which suffered severe flooding five years ago, is among the areas affected by heavy rain, with flood alerts in place for every river in Somerset.

The figures up to April 29 show the amount of rain which has fallen is almost double the long term average for April of 69.6mm, in records dating back to 1910.

The Met Office said six of its weather stations had seen more than three times their usual monthly average this April.

Liscombe, on Exmoor in Somerset, has seen the most rainfall, with 273.8mm of rain compared with its 86.4mm average.

Much of the rain has been focused on the south of the UK, with England recording more rainfall than Scotland.

Prestwick in Ayrshire has seen just 39.2mm of rain and Skye has had just over half of its monthly rainfall - with 52.0mm of its 99.5mm average.

It is in stark contrast to March, which was the fifth driest on record with 36.4mm of rain compared to the average of 95.9mm.

It has also been cool, with an average temperature of 6.1C (43F), compared with March's 7.7C (46F). No weather station recorded a temperature of 20C (68F), unlike the previous month when temperatures regularly broke the 20C barrier.

Dave Britton from the Met Office said the weather was not set to improve next month.

"Unfortunately it does look like the outlook remains rather unsettled. Further spells of rain to come certainly through May and remaining rather unsettled and temperatures a bit below average as well," he said.

Despite the heavy rain, swathes of England are still in drought, with warnings that the downpours were not enough to counteract the effects of two unusually dry winters.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "While we welcome the rain we have received recently, we cannot be complacent and still need everyone to save water where they can."

Rainfall 1-29 April 2012

Area Rainfall (mm) % of 1971-2000 average Previous or current record (mm) Year of record

UK

121.8

175 (new record)

120.3

2000

England

127.6

224

130.2

2000

Wales

147.9

173

193.9

1920

Scotland

115.2

133

191.1

1947

N Ireland

67.0

94

144.2

1961

England & Wales

130.4

214

132.6

2000

England N

130.6

209 (new record)

122.8

2000

England S

126.0

234

134.1

2000

Scotland N

116.4

123

214.1

1947

Scotland E

141.4

203

152.0

1934

Scotland W

85.9

92

213.3

1947

England E & NE

136.6

250 (new record)

135.0

2000

England NW & Wales N

116.0

153

146.3

1920

Midlands

129.4

227

136.6

2000

East Anglia

103.0

227

117.8

1998

England SW & Wales S

159.4

212

163.9

2000

England SE & Central S

124.8

237

145.3

2000

New figures are compared with 1971-2000 averages for the whole of April.

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