2012 went from hose ban to rainfall record

Flooding at Great Finborough on May 3
Flooding at Great Finborough on May 3
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Though 2012 began with a drought and hosepipe ban it ended with Bury St Edmunds’ wettest December for more than 20 years.

Bury weather recorder Alan Messem says: “In the last 14 days to the end of the month there was notable rain nearly every day amounting to 66mm.”

That is 10mm more than the regional average for the whole of December and brought the month’s total to 103mm, beating the 1993 record of 101mm.

Yet in the first three months of 2012 Alan had recorded rainfall 30mm below average. That followed East Anglia getting only two-thirds of its annual average rain in 2011.

Anglian Water began a hosepipe ban in early April, but by the end of the month Alan had recorded 101mm making it the wettest April since 1998.

May 3 saw flooding on roads across West Suffolk with police taking 35 calls for help by 7.30am. Little wonder the hosepipe ban ended on June 14.

Alan says local rainfall was above average from April on but while nationally the Met Office says 2012 was the wettest on record, Bury has known worse.

Alan’s total for the year was 798mm which, though 197mm above average, with 25 more wet days than average. But 2000 and 2001 were wetter because wet summers gave Bury more than 815mm rain for the year.