Almost 8,000 homes and businesses were flooded last year as the UK was repeatedly battered by heavy rain, storms and floods. But 2012 began with a number of water companies imposing hosepipe bans as swathes of England faced drought following two dry winters.
The dry weather then gave way to persistent rain, with the UK experiencing a record April and June, and the wettest summer in a century.
Farmers' crops were hit by the unusually wet summer, while the UK's wildlife struggled in poor conditions, with only a few species including slugs and orchids thriving. The Met Office said changes in sea surface temperatures and a reduction of Arctic sea ice could be helping to increase rainfall.