Second wettest year in graphics

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Official figures from the Met Office show that 2012 was the second wettest year on record in the UK.

England had its wettest ever year, while it was the third wettest for Wales, the 17th wettest on record for Scotland and the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland.

Map showing rainfall across the UK in 2012 against the 30-year average

Across the UK there was a total of 1330.7mm of rainfall in 2012, according to the Met Office, just short of the record of 1337.3mm in 2000.

The most rain in a single day was recorded at Honister Pass in the Lake District on 22 June, with 208.4mm of rain falling in 24 hours.

2012 rainfall: 1330.7mm Average: 1154.0mm
June rainfall: 149.0mm Average: 73.4mm

Wettest ever April to June

Figures show that the year began with below average rainfall. By April, with reservoirs at low levels, several water companies imposed hosepipe bans in an attempt to avoid severe water shortages in the summer.

Those bans proved unnecessary as the period from April to June turned out to be the wettest on record. The rain continued to pour down and every month from June until December saw above average rainfall.

Graph and maps showing monthly and seasonal rainfall for the UK in 2012

The rain didn't just ruin people's summer. The lack of a dry spell over the summer left the ground saturated and it was unable to soak up the rain that continued to fall in Autumn, resulting in flooding across large parts of the country.

BBC Weather's John Hammond takes a look back at this year's rainfall figures.

The wet summer has been blamed on the unusually southerly location of the high-altitude belt of wind known as the jet stream.

The jet stream normally sits to the north of the UK in summer, directing areas of low pressure and bad weather further north.

Map showing normal jet stream pattern

In 2012, the jet stream was further south than usual during the summer months, bringing wet and cold weather to much of the country.

Map showing jet stream summer 2012

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