By Philip Eden
We are all aware now that it was the wettest winter on record too - not just since 1910 when the digitised rainfall record for the UK began, but since 1766 when the England and Wales rainfall series first saw the light of day. And once again the record was broken by a wide margin.
The rainfall for the winter quarter of 2013-14 was 447mm, compared with 423mm for the next wettest which was 1914-15 - 24mm lower. The third wettest was 1876-77 with 418mm and fourth wettest was 1989-90 with 416mm - much smaller differences.
Floods were bad from Christmas Eve into the last week of December along the rivers of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, following a particularly heavy downpour on December 23 which deposited 69mm of rain at Kenley in south London; the rainfall averaged across England and Wales on the 23rd just shy of 25mm.
Flooding in some areas was protracted, especially across the Somerset Levels, where limited flooding also began on Christmas Eve. Floods became more severe at intervals during January and became very much worse during the first week of February, and only began to recede - very slowly - in the last week of February and the first week of March.
Floods were also very bad along the Thames and Severn rivers especially during February. Mercifully, most properties in Upton-upon-Severn, Bewdley, Worcester and Tewkesbury did not flood this year thanks to extensive remedial work performed after the 2007 floods. But the Thames was a different matter: all the way from Oxford through Reading, Maidenhead, Eton, Windsor, Egham, Staines, Chertsey, Weybridge and Walton floodwaters rose to almost unprecedented levels and many hundreds of properties suffered flooding for the best part of three weeks.
By Philip Eden