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News release

26 July 2007

Record-breaking rainfall figures

The Met Office today can reveal the three months from May to July 2007 have broken records for this period, even before July is over.

Provisional figures from the Met Office show that 387.6 mm of rain have already fallen across England and Wales, making it the wettest May to July since the England and Wales Precipitation record began in 1766.

These figures will come as no surprise to many across England and Wales who have suffered flooding from the exceptionally heavy rainfall experienced in June and July.

The extreme rainfall in June, where 103.1 mm (4.1 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours at Fylingdales, North Yorkshire was followed by a similar event in July when Pershore College in Worcestershire recorded 120.8 mm (4.8 inches) of rain on 20 July. Both events resulted in extensive flooding across parts of England and Wales.

Recent Met Office research undertaken in partnership with Environment Canada has shown, for the first time, a link between human activity and global rainfall patterns. Peter Stott, climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre said: "This latest study cannot make the link between climate change and what we have experienced so far this summer. However, with a warmer climate there could be an increase in extreme rainfall events despite the expected general trend toward drier summers."

The Met Office works with government, the public and the private sector to forecast and advise on the possible consequences and risks of climate change. With the 'normal' baselines changing, we all need to seek advice to make informed planning decisions and begin to put in place adaptation measures to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

Rainfall figures for England, Wales and regions
Region May-22 July 2007 -
1971-2000 average
May-22 July 2007 - anomaly Wettest May-July in series Additional information on May-July period
England & Wales 387.6 mm 186.3 mm 208% 2007 Previous wettest 349.1 mm in 1789
Central England 348.3 mm 153.9 mm 226% 2007 Previous wettest 296.9 mm in 1879
NE England 368.9 mm 170.1 mm 217% 2007 Previous wettest 307.5 mm in 1879
SW England & S Wales 381.8 mm 178.2 mm 214% 2007 Previous wettest 345.1 mm in 1879
NW England & N Wales 374.7 mm 197.7 mm 190% 2007 Previous wettest 353.6 mm in 1920
SE England 287.6 mm 153.3 mm 188% 292.5 mm in 1903 Already the 2nd wettest

Note: England and Wales record starts in 1766, other regions in 1873

Summer 2007 forecast

For further information:
Met Office Press Office  +44 (0)1392 886655
E-mail: pressoffice@metoffice.gov.uk
Met Office Customer Centre  0870 900 0100
If you're outside the UK  +44 (0)1392 885680