Scotland

Met Office: Wettest December on record in Scotland

View from above of cars surrounded by water Image copyright Michael O'Neill
Image caption Stranded cars in Port Glasgow after Storm Frank

December was the wettest month, both in Scotland and across the UK, since records began in 1910, according to the Met Office.

In Scotland, 351.4mm of rainfall was recorded with Cluanie Inn, Ross and Cromarty, the wettest place (768.4mm)

It was also an unusually warm month, with temperatures about 2.7C above the long term average.

Provisional figures also reveal 2015 was the second wettest year on record in Scotland. Only 2011 was wetter.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: "It fits in with most people's perceptions that in the latter part of the year it was particularly wet.

"There were a a lot of fronts approaching the UK from the Azores and the Tropics. Warmer air brings moisture and that translates into more rainfall."

The average temperature (including both day and night) was 5.4C, making it the fifth warmest on record. The long term average (1910-1981) for Scotland in December is 2.8C.

Annual rainfall for 2015 was 1869.2mm, only beaten by the 1886.4mm recorded in 2011.


Wet, warm Decembers: Can we expect more of the same?

Image copyright Paul Noble/SAIS Southern Cairngorms
Image caption The mild December left a mountain hare feeling exposed in the Cairngorms

By Roger Harrabin, BBC environment analyst

The Met Office says there is a direct link between the warmth and the record rains that brought widespread floods across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England.

Storms propelled by the jet stream were mainly to blame, it says, with contributions from the El Nino weather phenomenon and man-made climate change.

December was something of a freak month, it acknowledges. Climate change has raised UK temperatures by around 1C (1.8F) so far, so it will be many decades before this level of extreme weather becomes the new winter norm, it says.

Other scientists say that with climate change, there will be no "normal" weather.

Read more from Roger here


Scotland was one of the few countries in the UK to experience regular frosts. The UK as a whole saw just 2.6 days of air frost which is eight days below the long term average.

Mr Madge said it was too early to deduce long term trends but he added: "When you look at the wettest years, five out of six for the UK as a whole have been since 2000."

Image copyright A Hunter
Image caption Haggs Road in Glasgow was one of the routes affected by Storm Frank

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