Saturday 3rd October was the wettest day in the UK since records began in 1981, with enough rain falling to exceed the capacity of Loch Ness, the Met Office has said.
The downpour came a day after Storm Alex, with an average of 31.7mm (1.25 inches) rain falling across the whole of the UK and beating the previous record of 29.8mm (1.17 inches) on 25th August 1986.
The start of the month has been very wet overall, with the UK seeing 68% of its average rainfall for October already. England has been the wettest, reaching 87% of its monthly average.
Dr Mark McCarthy, the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: "In climate statistics, 2019 will be remembered for possessing the UK’s hottest day, whereas 2020 will be associated with rainfall records. Saturday 3 October – the day which followed Storm Alex – currently holds the record for the UK’s wettest day in a daily series stretching back to 1891 – that’s over 47,000 days.
"The rainfall was very widespread resulting in average rainfall across the entire UK of 31.7mm, or to put it another way, if expressed as the volume of rain that is more than the capacity of Loch Ness – the largest lake in the UK by volume at 7.4 cubic kilometres of water. It is exceptional to have 30 to 50mm or more of rain falling so extensively across the UK – from the south coast of England to the north coast of Scotland – in a single day."
Climate change is increasing the risk of more extreme weather, such as more intense heavy downpours, scientists warn.
Grahame Madge, a climate spokesman for the Met Office, added: "The UK's rainfall record contains many extreme events but it is clear from the UK's climate projections that with warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers we can expect increasingly more extreme rainfall records toward the end of the century.
"There is a simple relationship between a warmer atmosphere and an increased amount of moisture in the atmosphere – this again suggests that the UK is likely to witness increased rainfall and more record-breaking events."
The UK had a very dry and bright spring that saw May break the record for sunniest calendar month with 266 hours of sunshine.
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