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World October downpour sees UK's wettest day on record

04:12  16 october  2020
04:12  16 october  2020 Source:   bbc.com

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Saturday 3 October was the wettest day for UK -wide rainfall since records began in 1891, Met Office researchers have said. The downpour followed in the wake of Storm Alex and saw an average of 31.7mm (1.24ins) of rain across the entire UK .

The UK had its wettest day on record earlier this month - with enough rain falling to fill Loch Ness, according to the Met Office. To illustrate the significance of this milestone, the head of the Met Office' s National Climate Information Centre said the downpours were enough to fill Britain' s largest

Saturday 3 October was the wettest day for UK-wide rainfall since records began in 1891, Met Office researchers have said.

a person in a wet sidewalk with an umbrella walking down the street: Rain swept across the UK in the wake of Storm Alex © Getty Images Rain swept across the UK in the wake of Storm Alex

The downpour followed in the wake of Storm Alex and saw an average of 31.7mm (1.24ins) of rain across the entire UK.

The deluge was enough to exceed the capacity of Loch Ness - the largest lake in the UK by volume - the researchers added.

The previous record wettest day was 29 August 1986.

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Saturday October 3 was the wettest day in the UK since records began in 1891, Met Office researchers have said. The downpour began when storm Alex brought an average of 31.7mm of rain. There was enough rainfall across the UK to fill Loch Ness, which is the largest lake in the UK by

The UK had its wettest day since records began in 1891 earlier this month, with the level of rainfall exceeding the volume of water in The new record comes after February was declared the wettest on record , following downpours brought by three storms – Ciara

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It has been a year of stark contrasts across the UK when it comes to rainfall.

Two named storms, Ciara and Dennis, helped push February to the top of the records as the wettest ever in the UK.

This was followed by a very dry and bright spring that saw May break the record for sunniest calendar month with 266 hours of sunshine.

But a middling summer has been followed by a drenching Autumn across much of the UK.

In the wake of Storm Alex, the heavens opened almost everywhere.

"The main characteristic for October 3 was moderate but persistent rain, and it was very widespread," said Dr Mark McCarthy, from the Met Office.

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October downpour sees UK ' s wettest day on record . The 2020 monsoon season has brought above normal rainfall for the second year in a row, it was also the wettest August in India for 40 years.

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a view of a city next to a body of water: Storms across the UK saw February become the wettest on record © Getty Images Storms across the UK saw February become the wettest on record

"We had 30 to 50mm of rain, quite extensively across large parts of the UK that day, and that's quite unusual."

If all that rain was collected together, Dr McCarthy says, it would over top the UK's biggest lake by volume.

"So 31.7mm across the area of the UK equates to around 7.6 cubic kilometres of water by volume. And Loch Ness is around 7.4-7.5 cubic kilometres."

While the previous record came during the very wet summer of 1986, the third wettest day across the UK was on 15 February this year with 27.2mm.

Many parts of the UK have already passed their average October rainfall in the first couple of weeks of the month.

Oxfordshire is leading the way as the wettest county, with around 148% of its long-term average October rain experienced so far.

So, do these heavy downpours across 2020 show the signal of climate change?

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October downpour sees UK ' s wettest day on record . Copernicus, the EU's climate change service, have said global temperatures for September 2020 were higher than in any previous September on record .

Watch. October downpour sees UK ' s wettest day on record . The 2020 monsoon season has brought above normal rainfall for the second year in a row, it was also the wettest August in India for 40 years.

a herd of sheep grazing on a lush green field: The Met Office says enough rain fell on October 3 to fill Loch Ness © Getty Images The Met Office says enough rain fell on October 3 to fill Loch Ness

"We can't make any definitive statements specifically about the attribution of this particular event on October 3," said Dr McCarthy.

"There's a general expectation that under our warming climate, we would expect to see increases in some types of extreme rainfall and rainfall events and we're expecting to have wetter winters overall, we could expect increases in these types of extremes."

While the record for the wettest day on average across the UK stood for 34 years, it might not take so long to break it again.

"Over recent decades that we have seen a cluster of notable rainfall records in the last sort of 10 to 20 years in quite a long rainfall series," said Dr McCarthy.

"So it would fit within the general pattern that we're observing, and aspects of what we would expect continued climate change to lead to."

Follow Matt on Twitter @mattmcgrathbbc.

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