The Met Office has revealed that this month is on target to be the wettest June since 1860 – with more torrential rain forecast over the next few days.
Farmers have been battling rainy conditions across much of the UK this month and parts of England and Wales have suffered widespread flooding. (See the Met Office map below)
Torrential rainfall has also wreaked havoc with agricultural shows, causing the cancellation of the Cambridgeshire County Show and North Yorkshire County Show. Bad weather also saw day two of the Suffolk show cancelled.
So far this month, an average of 122.3mm (4.8 inches) of rain has fallen across the UK – one and a half times above average rainfall figures for June, according to the Met Office.
Up to 24 June, it is the third wettest June on record for the UK based on historical records dating back to 1910.
But if the wet weather continues until the end of the month, the Met Office said June 2012 could be the wettest June yet.
Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers said: “The rainfall figures for June are still a bit behind 2007, but we have some heavy rain forecast for the next few days, so these figures will change.”
Many regions have received large amounts of rainfall, in many cases more than 200% above the June average. Fifty-two observation sites were showing record amounts of rainfall for June.
Up to 24 June, Capel Curig, in Snowdonia, has recorded the highest amount of rainfall with 273.3mm – twice the June average of 126.7mm.
Blencathra in Cumbria, has recorded 239.4mm, well above its average of 85.9mm.
Cumbria-based beef and sheep farmer Stuart Armstrong said: “The wet weather has been holding everything back.
“We would normally have had the first cut of silage done by now, but we’re about two weeks behind. We haven’t even started yet.”
However, the wet conditions have not been mirrored in Scotland where many regions have been suffering from unusually dry weather.
South Uist, part of the Western Isles (Outer Hebrides) of Scotland, has had just 15.8mm of rainfall, well below its average of 55.9mm.
In Resallach, Sutherland it has been even drier, with just 12mm of rainfall – about 10% of its average June figures of 111.5mm.
“There’s a massive contrast across the country,” said Ms Chivers. “The areas you would expect to be wet, such as north-west Scotland, are bone dry, but Wales and the South West have suffered heavy rainfall.”
However, as we will soon be entering the harvest season, farmers have been warned to expect the changeable weather to continue throughout July.
“There will be a mixture of Atlantic depressions coming in across the UK, bringing spells of wet weather, followed by showers and then hopefully a few days of sunshine,” said Ms Chivers.
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