Early Met Office statistics for January 2014 show that the South East and central southern England region has already had its wettest January since 1910.
A large area of southern England from East Devon to Kent and inland across parts of the Midlands has seen twice the average rainfall for the month, with three days’ data still to come.
South East and central southern England has received more than twice its average rainfall with 175.2 mm of rain from 1 – 28 January. This beats the previous record of 158.2 mm set in January 1988.
Further West across South West England and South Wales, the 222.6 mm of rainfall up to the 28th means January 2014 is already the fifth-wettest on record and the wettest January since 1995 (224.4 mm). The wettest January on record here was 1948, when 244.3 mm of rain was recorded.
For the UK as a whole, 164.6 mm of rain has fallen so far this month, 35% above the long-term average, with all nations having seen above average rainfall.
However, the UK has seen something of a South to North contrast, with northern Scotland having received 85% of its long-term average rainfall so far this month, a sharp contrast to the 200% over southern England.
Wet weather in winter usually means it’s been mild and that has been the case this January. The UK mean temperature up to the 28th is 4.9 °C, 1.2 °C above average.
The main reason is that we have seen a predominance of west and South-West winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic – as well as the unsettled and at times stormy conditions.
A full summary of the weather this January will be available on the Met Office website early in February.