Image for Wild Weather in 2012: North East and CumbriaNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 29 minutes

John Hammond presents a look back on a year of record breaking extreme weather. Hannah Bayman reports on the storms that have gone down in history, Nick Miller looks at the science behind the deluge, and Fiona Armstrong asks just how safe are our homes in the new wet world.

Last on

Sun 30 Dec 2012 17:30 BBC One North East & Cumbria only

  • Weather in the North East

    Morpeth floods in 2012


    North East England experienced disruption from two major winter storms in 3 January and 4-5 January 2012. Winds gusted at 50 to 60 Knots widely across North East England with 65 Knots (75mph) recorded at Loftus, Cleveland on 3 January.  


    • Much of North East England recorded some lying snow between 5-12 February. 


    • There were further snowfalls across the Pennines in early April, causing some disruption to roads and power supplies. Copley (County Durham) recorded 21cm on 4 April. Ice and strong winds brought down power lines leaving 50,000 homes without power. However, disruption due to snow and freezing temperatures was generally much less than during December 2010.

    • On 23 February the temperature at Holbeach reached 17.7C, a difference of 33.3C in only 12 days. It is very unusual for a 30C temperature difference within a month, particularly at a coastal location. 

    • Both late March and late May saw unusual warmth across North East England. On 28 March, 21.8C was recorded at Durham, the highest March temperature here in records since 1880. 


    • On 28 June, parts of Newcastle were affected by intense thunderstorms. These were associated with hot, humid air from a 'Spanish plume' ahead of frontal systems pushing in from the west. Some locations recorded around 25mm of rain in 30 minutes, with Newcastle and Gateshead being badly affected by flash-flooding. 


    • Parts of North East England were badly affected by flooding from heavy rainfall associated with an area of low pressure from 24-26 September. A broad swathe of the North York Moors and North Pennines recorded over 150% of the monthly average rainfall during this three day period. Morpeth was one of the worst affected locations, with many properties flooded. 

    • In January, rainfall was only 2/3 of average, and less than half in February and March. The period April 2010 to March 2012 saw well below average rainfall across much of North East England.

      By contrast, both April to June saw well over twice the average and the period April to July 2012 was the wettest April to July in the last 100 years by a margin equivalent to an extra months’ rainfall.

    Source: Met Office, National Climate Information Centre, October 2012

    Notes: These figures are for January-October 2012 and cover North East England and Lincolnshire excluding Cumbria.


  • The science behind wild weather in 2012

    Flood sign

    BBC weatherman Nick Miller looks at the science behind what happened to Britain's weather in 2012.


    He explains meteorologists' latest theories about why the weather in 2012 was so different from normal.


    Nick Miller meets the Met Office's Adam Scaife and meteorologist Len Shaffrey to find out why the jet stream's unusual behaviour had such an impact on the UK's weather in 2012.


    Watch the video feature on the BBC News website.

  • Cumbria weather in 2012

    Person with umbrella

    The winter of 2011/12 was much milder than the previous three winters.


    The lowest temperature was minus 9.9C at Alston, Cumbria on 3 February.


    There were minor snowfalls in early February and in April. Alston recorded 15cm, but no significant snowfall events. However on 9 February, freezing rain caused numerous accidents on roads across Cumbria.


    The warmest day of the year was 25 May.The temperature reached 28C at St Bees Head, Cumbria – unusual for being both relatively early in the year and at a coastal location.


    The last 10 days of May saw a rare spell of fine, warm, sunny weather in an otherwise very poor summer. 


    Both April and the period June to September all saw well above average rainfall, often 150 to 200% of average. It was the wettest April to September in the last 100 years by a margin equivalent to an extra month’s rainfall. 


    Source: Met Office, National Climate Information Centre, October 2012.


    Notes: Figures are for the wider North West of England and Cumbria.


John Hammond
Hannah Bayman
Executive Producer
Jacqui Hodgson


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss