England sees record-breaking rainfall over 18 months till March

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England has witnessed a record-breaking amount of rainfall over the past 18 months, from October 2022 to March 2024, according to new figures issued by the UK’s Met Office.  

A whopping 1,695.9mm of rain has fallen, making it the wettest 18-month period since records began in 1836 in the country. This is more rain than any 18-month period since England started keeping track in 1836. 

The record beats the previous one set just a month earlier, which saw 1,680.2mm of rain from September 2022 to February 2024. The third highest record was 1,668.4mm, set in the 18 months leading up to January 2021.

March was particularly soggy, with England experiencing 62% more rainfall than an average March. However, the total rainfall for the month, 94.3mm, did not come close to breaking any records, ranking as the 19th wettest March on record. 

Emily Carlisle, a scientist at the Met Office, noted that many people will remember how wet March was. She explained that the UK has been under the influence of low pressure and a series of fronts, leading to very saturated ground and increased sensitivity to rainfall events.

“Many will remember how wet March has been, with a succession of fronts and the influence of low pressure seemingly never too far away from the UK,” she said. 

“Coming off the back of a wet winter and what has been a wet start to the year, many areas have very saturated ground, which has increased the sensitivity to rainfall events in recent weeks.”

The UK as a whole also had its fair share of rain, ranking as the fourth wettest on record for the 18 months to March 2024, with 2,085.6mm of rain falling. Several counties in England experienced at least double the typical amount of rainfall for March, including Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Worcestershire.

Meanwhile, Wales and Northern Ireland also saw more rain than usual in March, with 53% and 49% more rain respectively. Scotland, on the other hand, was drier than average despite widespread rain throughout the month.

Despite the rain, March was a mild month across the UK, with temperatures higher than average in all four nations. England even recorded its seventh warmest March on record, with an average temperature of 7.8C.

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