Could this June be the dullest and wettest on record?

Spectators under umbrellas
The first half of June has seen two and a half time the normal rainfall across the Anglia region. Photo: Sang Tan/AP/Press Association Images

It probably won’t startle you too much to be told that June has been wet – very wet. It’s no surprise that Anglian Water chose this week to lift its short-lived hosepipe ban. Even if not other drop falls between now and July, the month of June will still end up a wetter month than normal. On the other hand if it carries on raining in the same measure as we’ve seen so far, June 2012 could go down in the record books as the wettest ever.

Averaged out across the Anglia region the first 15 days of June saw 69 mm of rain – some places were wetter and some drier. For instance the Rothampstead crop research base near Harpenden in Hertfordshire has seen 120 mm (4.7 inches) of rain while the Royal Air Force station at Marham in Norfolk has had less than half of that total with just 50 mm (2 inches). The Anglia region would usually have 55 mm (2.2 inches) of rain during the entire month in an average June.

If the rain keeps falling at the same rate for the rest of June it would be competing to be the wettest ever. According to Met Office data, which dates back to 1910, the current June rainfall record for East Anglia was set in 1997 when 130 mm (5.1 inches) fell across the region.

The five wettest Junes in East Anglia since records started in 1910. Credit: Met Office

But it’s not just the rain. June 2012 is also distinguished for being particularly cold with a distinct lack of bright sunshine. The first 15 days saw an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes of sunshine per day when 6½ hours per day is nearer normal. Once again, unless those clouds scud away big time in the remaining half of the month, we’re again looking at breaking a sunshine record – for the wrong reasons.

The June with the least sunshine since Met Office records for East Anglia started in 1929 was a quarter of a century ago when in 1987 there were only 117 hours of sun during the entire month. So far this June we’ve seen 47 hours – day for day less sunshine than in 1987. Up till 1987 the dull June record-holder was the Silver Jubilee year of 1977. Could the Diamond Jubilee year go down in history for yet another reason?

The Queen with London Fire Brigade in 1977
The Queen inspecting the London Fire Brigade after the Silver Jubilee River Progress in June 1977 Credit: Ron Bell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

An average June daytime maximum temperature is around 19°C (66°F) while this month we’ve been struggling to reach 16°C (61°F). Factoring in night time temperatures, the mean monthly temperature in the first half of June 2012 is a shade above 12°C (54°F). If that ended up as the final temperature for the month it would be the coldest June since 1923 and only slightly warmer than that Silver Jubilee June of 1977.

There is reason yet to be optimistic; there is still the rest of June to go and even a short-lived heatwave could change all those statistics. We can but live in hope.

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