'Drier' NI bucks UK's 2012 trend

'Drier' NI bucks UK's 2012 trend

There may have been over 45ins of rainfall in Northern Ireland during the course of the last twelve months - enough for surfing Belfast's streets - but it still fared better than the rest of the UK.

UK-wide, the wet conditions were almost record-breaking - the second wettest year ever, in fact.

In parts of England - including East Anglia and the Midlands - and it Wales, it was the wettest year since records began in 1910. But for Northern Ireland, the weather was actually fairly average.

While 2011 saw total rainfall of 1272.6mm in 2011, that figure fell to 1153.7mm in 2012.

But that doesn't mean there wasn't still room for complaint, with the summer a bit of a wash-out and a number of areas affected by flooding at different times last year.

In June, many people were left facing a huge clean-up operation following severe flooding in Belfast.

During the downpours, striking images - including a man surfing down the Castlereagh Road, another stripped to his underwear to rescue a car and its occupants from floodwaters, a canoeist paddling down a street, and police officers trapped on the roof of their Landrover - emerged.

"I think the main thing that people have been noticing is that summers over the last number of years have been quite wet," John Wylie, from the Met Office, told UTV.

"We've had a lot of rain spread out over a large part of 2012, but that doesn't necessarily mean 2013 is going to follow suit."

As for future prospects, it's still too early to make any solid predictions for the summer months.

"We're due a drier summer, that's what we will say - but whether that transpires or not remains to be seen," Mr Wylie added.


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