by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The summer of 2012 has been the wettest for 100 years, according to Met Office data.
And, according to the government it was also the wettest drought in history. Talk about spin.
Figures from the Met Office show an average of 366.8mm of rain fell across the UK over the three months – June, July and August. That compares with a normal average UK rainfall of 241mm.
The worst hit regions have been the north west of England and north Wales with 475mm of rain, representing 171% above the seasonal norm. The West Country has also suffered badly, recording rainfall at 450mm or 184% above average summer figures.
In percentage terms the south east did not fare much better with 180% more rain than usual but its overall figure of 290mm, reflecting the relative dryness of the region, is much lower than areas further north and west.
The Environment Agency has issued more than 1,000 river flood alerts and warnings between 1 June and 15 July, the highest number in five years.
Summer 2012 is also likely to be one of the dullest summers on record, with just 399 hours of sunshine up to 28 August. It is the dullest summer since 1980, when the UK saw only 396 hours of sunshine. The only region to have escaped the deluge is the far north of Scotland which recorded just 85% of its summer rainfall.
The wet weather has hit harvest efforts and that equally so for farmers as vegetable gardeners at home and on allotments.
Everyone has been fighting a battle with slugs and to begin wish many plants just dampened off as seedlings. When they then, finally, got under way the slugs and other pests had a field day.
Slugs, pigeons and the rest have been taking what the weather did not and yields are very low.
In addition to that most fruit trees did not set fruit because the weather was too bad for pollinators, such as bees, to fly and it was also too wet for wind pollination for those plants that are pollinated in that way.
This all will have a serious impact on food prices and people better get prepared now for the fact that many products will be very expensive indeed and maybe it would be a good idea for many to realize how many weeds are actually edible and supplement their diet in that way. Weeds we certainly have and had in abundance.