In Brief

Southern Britain Soaking in Record Wet January

England rainfall January 2014
This map shows how much rainfall amounts across the United Kingdom have varied from average January values over the period of Jan. 1 - 28, 2014. (Image credit: UK Met Office)

While the eastern United States has seen successive invasions of Arctic air this month, southern England has had a soggy winter indeed.

Even though the month isn't over yet, the U.K. Met Office reports that the southeast and central southern portions of England have had their wettest January since 1910, with some areas seeing twice their average rainfall for the month. From Jan. 1 through Jan. 28, the region has seen nearly 7 inches (175 millimeters) of rain, beating out the previous January record of just over 6 inches (158 mm) set in 1988.

What's been keeping the area sopping wet? The Met Office cites winds coming from the west and southwest that are bringing with them mild air from over the Atlantic Ocean, along with the occasional storm. At least it's also been keeping temperatures mild?

Read more at the U.K. Met Office.

Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.