But what about the whole of 2012? It certainly felt wet. How wet was it?
Well, since records began (our records, that is, which began in mid-2005), 2012 was indeed the wettest year ever:
|annual rainfall, in mm|
|mean, median, and 2012 monthly rainfall, in mm|
Those mean/median figures don't tell anything like the whole story, though. Here's more information:
|min, lower quartile, median, upper quartile, max, and 2012 monthly rainfall, in mm|
A blue box between the min/max lines is a little bit special, as only a quarter of the data falls in the first or last quartile (hence the name!). So January and March were a bit on the dry side, while June, October and December were a bit wet. (Well, December was quite a bit wet, being nearly at the maximum.)
I love that difference between the May and June data: very similar medians, minima and maxima, but wildly different lower and upper quartiles. May is essentially bimodal -- wet or dry (this year was one of the dry ones) -- whilst June is middling damp with a couple of outliers (this year was an outlier, too).
A blue box outside the min/max lines is a driest/wettest seen so far. Four months in 2012 managed this (but since we have only 8 years of prior data, I'm not going to over-interpret the significance of this). 2012 had the driest February (despite it being a longer leap-year month!) and August, and the wettest April and July (by far!) since our records began.
So, a bit difficult to make any general statements about the rainfall, then. This is why in the UK were talk about the weather all the time. It changes, all the time. All we can conclude from above is the lovely statement I saw in a newspaper many years ago: "it's usual to have unusual weather this time of year" -- or any time, really!