Are more wet summers on the way?

Are more wet summers on the way?
    Many keen gardeners will be looking forward to the end of the winter so they can get back outdoors and plant some flowers.

But plenty won't have forgotten the complete washout that was summer 2012. In fact, it seemed to rain throughout the whole year, making conditions very awkward for anyone who wanted to get outside with their lawn mower or hedgetrimmers.

However, gardeners might have to start getting used to it, as new figures from the Met Office have revealed last year was the second wettest in Britain on record.

Some 1,330.7mm fell in the UK throughout 2012 – which meant it only slightly fell short of the record set 12 years earlier in 2000.

It seems like we've been having a lot of wet summers recently and the stats certainly reflect this. In fact, only one of the top five wettest years in Britain on record occurred during the 20th century – in 1954 to be precise – so it certainly appears as if the amount of rainfall we're seeing has gone up in the last decade or so.

This is good news for those of us with green fingers in a way, as we can be sure our plants and lawns won't be dying of dehydration. But we certainly don't want our gardens to get saturated or flooded, so much will depend on what conclusions the experts manage to draw on our volatile weather.

Professor Julia Slingo, chief scientist at the Met Office, commented: "The trend towards more extreme rainfall events is one we are seeing around the world, in countries such as India and China, and now potentially here in the UK.

"Much more research is needed to understand more about the causes and potential implications."

She added that the Met Office must examine how this will impact on rainfall patterns in the future, so it can advise on how frequently extreme weather events are likely to occur, as well as help ensure decision-makers know exactly what they need to do to safeguard the country against flooding.

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