Four out of the top five wettest years in 100 years took place in last 12 years, so it might be time to get some scuba gear in

Is the UK getting wetter?

With the fortunes of the bicycle market closely linked to the weather, the news that 2012 was one of the wettest in 100 years will come as no surprise to UK bicycle retailers and distributors.

According to the Met Office, 2012 was the second wettest year in the UK since national records began in 1910, with 1330.7mm, or 52.3-inches. The wettest was 2000, with 1337.3mm (52.6-inches).

In fact four of the wettest years since 1910 have taken place in the last 12 years.

By country, 2012 was the wettest year on record for England, third wettest for Wales, 17th for Scotland and just the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland.

The Met Office said: "The exceptionally wet year was characterised by a dry start which quickly gave way to very wet weather, with April and June both being the wettest on record. Unsettled weather continued through to the end of the year, with December being the 8th wettest on record for the UK.

"We have always seen a great deal of variability in UK rainfall because our weather patterns are constantly changing. However, preliminary evidence suggests we are getting slightly more rain in total and it may be falling in more intense bursts.

"Preliminary research from the Met Office also suggests we may have seen a change in the nature of the rain we get, with ‘extreme’ daily rainfall becoming more frequent."

Time to stock up on trainers and weather proof clothing then…

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