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2012 close to wettest for the Westcountry on record

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 02, 2013

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The Westcountry was given a final dousing before the new year as experts prepared to declare 2012 the wettest on record for the UK.

Forecasters predicted a "quiet" start to 2013 after the recent deluge which has flooded communities, washed away roads and bridges, closed railway lines and littered the region's beaches and coastal paths with landslides.

The Met Office said total rainfall across the UK stood at less than two inches (46mm) short of the highest ever recorded, as of Boxing Day.

The South West needed less than three inches (68mm) to top the 102-year-old high, which was set in 1960.

And with further downpours in the subsequent five days, including a wet band which brought an inch of rain (26mm) to Dartmoor on Monday, regional and national highs could be announced later this week.

Forecaster Steven Keats said the national record would be "very close" and the South West was "knocking on the door" of the wettest.

It would almost certainly be the second most sodden, despite months of drought.

"High pressure now seems to be in charge and this week looks to be fairly mild and quiet compared to what we saw in the run up to Christmas," he added.

"There will be quite a lot of cloud and it will feel quite pleasant with temperatures easily into double figures."

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