LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Britain's national weather service says 2012 was the country's second-wettest year on record and extreme rainfall may be increasing.
The Met Office said the total rainfall for the United Kingdom for 2012 was 52.4 inches, just a fraction of an inch short of the record set in 2000, the BBC reported Thursday.
Statistics from the National Climate Information Center, the country's official climate record, showed days of extremely heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960.
2012 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, making it the second wettest ever for the United Kingdom as a whole, the Met Office said.
"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 United Kingdom," Met Office chief scientist Julia Slingo said.
Most U.K. regions experienced some flooding during 2012, affecting thousands of homes, farms and businesses, meteorologists said.