THE past 12 months were the fourth wettest in Suffolk in over a century – an increase of 75 per cent from 2011 and the highest for over a decade, figures today reveal.

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According to data released by the Met Office, there was a total of 782.2mm (30.8ins) of rainfall across the county in 2012, the fourth highest in Suffolk since records began in 1910.

In 2011 there was 456.8mm (18ins) – exactly 75 per cent less than the last 12-month period.

The year of 2001 remains the wettest on record, with 799.4mm (31.5ins) of rainfall, while 1939 is second with 798.5mm (31.4ins) and third is 1916 with 791.8mm (31.2ins).

The Met Office said it was the second wettest on record in the UK, with 1,330.7mm (52.4ins) of total rainfall, just 6.6mm short of the record set in 2000.

It was the wettest year on record for England, the third wettest for Wales, the 17th wettest on record for Scotland and the 40th wettest for Northern Ireland.

“The trend towards more extreme rainfall events is one we are seeing around the world, in countries such as India and China, and now potentially here in the UK,” said Met Office chief scientist Prof Julia Slingo.

“Much more research is needed to understand more about the causes and potential implications.”

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