RELENTLESS downpours and ‘unusual’ flash floods made last year the wettest on record in Sheffield, it has been confirmed.
New data shows over 1,130mm of rain fell in the city during 2012, breaking the previous record set in 2000 by 45mm.
Alistair McLean, curator of natural science at Museums Sheffield, who works at the Weston Park Weather Station, told The Star: “It is our wettest year on record, which goes back to 1882.
“By about 45mm of rainfall 2012 beat the last record we had from 2000.
“We are now having more of these flash flood events than we were in the past.
“What happened last year, which was quite unusual, was that the rain was falling pretty constantly from June and the rivers weren’t getting the chance to recover.
“The flood water was just sitting there all the time.”
A report compiled from data recorded at the station - which celebrated its 130th anniversary last year - also shows 2012 was a multiple weather record-breaker and a year of stark contrasts.
It featured the warmest March since 1938, which was also the sunniest since records began.
April was the wettest since records began, and June was the ‘dullest’ since 1964.
The Met Office said 136mm of rain fell in Sheffield in December - although that was a long way from the maximum UK amount of 198mm.
Alistair added: “2012 was a year of contrast, characterised by drought in the first part of the year and prolonged rain causing intermittent flooding throughout summer and autumn.
“Last year saw the 130th anniversary of Weston Park Weather Station so it was only fitting that it should break an all-time annual record.
“It’s a shame that this had to be for the wettest year.”
In 2012 there were a total of 156 wet days - when at least 1mm of rain fell - in Sheffield, just one day short of the record set in 1912 and 1960.
Summer fairs and other events in Sheffield were washed out last July by heavy rain. One 12-hour downpour also curbed the drought threat in the region.