How much does it rain in the UK?

December 28, 2012 by  
Filed under Outdoor and Garden

Where gets the most rain?

Statistically, the wettest part of the UK is the western Highlands in Scotland, which get over three metres of rainfall a year.

Other rainy parts of the UK include:

  • North west England – especially the Lake District in Cumbria and western facing slopes of the Pennines.
  • Western and central Wales – particularly the mountainous Snowdonia region in the north.
  • South west England – mainly the higher elevation areas of Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin moor.
  • Parts of Northern Ireland.

These areas all have common characteristics, given their high elevations (or even mountainous status) and their northern or western locations in the UK.


Why do some places get more rain than others?

The prevailing warm moist westerly winds mean that the west of the UK is more likely to receive rainfall from Atlantic weather systems – in the form of frontal rainfall. These weather systems usually move from west to east across the UK and as they do so the amount of rainfall they deposit reduces. This is because the mountains in the north and west of the UK cause lots of the rainfall to fall in those locations as the clouds are too ‘heavy’ to move over the higher ground – this is known as orographically enhanced or relief rainfall. Of course, frontal and orographic rainfall are not the only rainfall mechanisms, but they are the most common.

2012 could be wettest on record

With more wet weather forecast for this weekend, this year is likely to become the wettest on record. It is already the wettest year since records began for England in 1910, and just another 46mm of rain is needed to break the national record.

Householders and businesses in the north of England and north Wales have been warned to prepare for flooding as the terrible weather that has caused devastation in the south-west and Midlands continues.

The Met Office was expecting 40mm of rain to fall widely, with up to 70mm in some places – the sort of levels that have been causing severe flooding in Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

Forecasters say southern England and the Midlands are not yet off the hook as heavy showers may continue. Flood defences will be tested further as water pours off the hills into streams and rivers. More than 800 homes and business premises have already been flooded.

For information on how to prepare yourself and family for this weather

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