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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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One of wettest Januarys on record for Cumbria

The north of Cumbria has experienced one of the wettest starts to the year on record.

Rain photo
Nearly 187mm of rain fell in north Cumbria last month

The Met Office measured nearly 187mm of rainfall in north Cumbria during the first month of the year.

That is the 11th wettest January seen here since records began in 1910.

And it is the second highest amount of rainfall recorded in January since the turn of the century, behind 2008 when a total of more than 241mm fell.

Laura Young, a Met Office spokeswoman, said last month’s figures, which covered January 1 to 28, were 31 per cent higher than the average.

She said: “We add up the rainfall totals recorded at our stations for every day of the month and come up with an average.

“The amount for Cumbria is much higher than what we would have expected to see at this time of year.”

After another batch of rain fell on the last day of the month yesterday, Ms Young warned that this January’s total could catch up even further with 2008.

Yellow warnings for snow and ice were also in place for Cumbria with higher ground the worst affected.

Coastal flood alerts were also enforced between Gretna and Silloth, and Silloth and St Bees.

Amateur meteorologist Euan Preston, of Stockdalewath, near Carlisle, measured up to 120mm of rain in the village during January.

He said the average for the month was around 90mm so it was “nothing drastic” like the problems experienced in Somerset in the past couple of weeks.

The Army has been drafted in to help out after about 25 square miles of the Somerset Levels were flooded.

The Environment Agency has been running pumps 24 hours a day to drain the floodwater which has left entire communities cut off.

Mr Preston said that compared to the south west, Cumbria has escaped the worst of the January weather, but added that December was exceptionally bad, according to his measurements.

He said: “I recorded 189mm of rain in December against an average of 97mm and compared to the previous year when there was 119mm. December 23 was one of the highest days I’ve ever recorded with 27mm.

“There’s obviously concern around here because of the amount of rain which runs straight off the ground and onto the streets.”

Villagers have been working hard clearing the river of debris and rubbish accumulated during the recent spells of bad weather to avoid clogging it up even more.

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