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article imageMany parts of England record wettest January since records began

By Kev Hedges     Jan 30, 2014 in Environment
Early figures have suggested several parts of England and Wales have experienced its wettest January since records began over 100 years ago.
The figures, which go up to January 28, show many parts of the South and the Midlands had already seen more than twice the average rainfall, and there are still three more days to add to the totals. The Met Office has issued hundreds of yellow warnings and roads and villages on the Somerset Levels have been underwater for over a month.
The situation in many parts of southern England has become so bad the Ministry of Defence has deployed amphibious vehicles and pontoon bridges to allow villagers to get in and out of their homes. Villages like Muchelney have been cut off since January 2 and more than about 11,000 hectares (28,000 acres) of the Somerset Levels are flooded by about 65 million cubic meters of water, reports BBC Somerset.
Why is it Raining So Much?
People living in northern Scotland are wondering what all the fuss is about, as the average rainfall for January in this area is actually much less than normal. But it's not just very wet across Wales and England, particularly since early December, it has also been very mild. Average temperatures have often been ranging between 8c (46F) to about 11c (52F) when they should be nearer 6c (43F). Many parts of the southern England and Midlands, as well as the North, have not seen any sign of snow so far this year.
The North American Effect
The cause of the excessive storms and rainfall is down to a more powerful than usual jet stream, which brings in North Atlantic storms that begin life in the North American continent. Very cold air has been dragging down from the Arctic and bringing colder than usual conditions in Canada and the northern states of America, whereas warmer air is coming up from the Gulf of Mexico to meet this air and that combination has given the jet stream its extra strength and increased activity.
More about Rain, wettest january, Storms, UK floods, Jet stream
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