We know it’s been a wet year – but just how wet? Askham Bryan College’s ‘weatherman’ Mike Elliott gives MIKE LAYCOCK the lowdown on a very soggy 2012

THEY’VE been monitoring the weather on a daily basis at Askham Bryan College since before the Second World War.

And the records show that this year has indeed been one of the wettest ever recorded by staff at the college near York, even before the deluge before Christmas.

December’s figures are not yet available, but senior science technician Mike Elliott, who records information such as rainfall levels and temperatures on a daily basis, says 893 millimetres of rain – or more than 35 inches – fell over the first 11 months of the 2011.

That compares with just 579 millimetres – or less than 23 inches – in an average year.

Not that it started out that way, with two of the first three months actually experiencing below average rainfall. Hard as it might now be to imagine, the experts were actually worried about worsening drought conditions.

January received the monthly average of 50 millimetres, while only 14.1 millimetres fell in February, compared to the average of 42 mms, and 27 mms fell in March, compared with an average of 44mms.

The weather switched dramatically to a new phase in April, when the weather station recorded 163 mms – almost four times as much as the monthly average of 45.1mms.

April set the tone for the rest of the year, with 67.5 mms falling in May, compared to an average of 49mms, and 115.7 mms in June, compared with the average of 58mms.

In July, the weather station recorded 88.1 mms, compared with 54.7, in August it recorded 91 mms compared with 66mms, and in September, it recorded another 86, compared with 58.

There was no let up in October, when 76 mms fell, compared with an average of 55mms, and another 113mms fell in November, compared with 57mms.

The year was not exactly a scorcher, either. Mike said the hottest day was July 24, when temperatures hit the dizzy heights of 26.3 C, or about 80F.

And how about 2013? Will we see a respite from the rain and a long hot summer? Well, Mike isn’t going to stick his neck out on that one – he’s sticking to recording the weather and happy to leave the predictions to others.