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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 17:53 GMT
November rainfall hits new record
Whitesands in Dumfries and Galloway
The Whitesands area was sealed off after recent flooding
Scotland has had its wettest November in nearly 30 years, new Met Office figures have revealed.

Western and southern parts were worst affected, with 73% more rain than the November average, a spokesman said.

And the Met's observing site at Bishopton said Glasgow had its wettest November since records began in 1914.

Eastern and northern areas had a third more rain than the November average for 1971-2000. The Met has also ruled out a sustained dry spell in the near future.

A spokesman said: "The outlook at the moment is that it will remain unsettled, with further rain and showers particularly towards the end of the week."

He told the BBC Scotland news website that the country had 244mm of rainfall last month.

That represents a 47% increase on the November average over a 29-year period between 1971 and 2000.

In the decades to come, heavy rainfall events in the winter will become more frequent
Met Office spokesman

The west of Scotland - which also incorporates the Borders - saw 320mm of rain last month, which is 73% more than the November average.

Northern Scotland had 261mm of rain, 36% more than the monthly average.

Eastern areas saw a 33% increase on the average rainfall for November, with 153mm.

However, the Met Office said the increase could not be attributed to climate change.

A spokesman said: "You can't connect one specific record rainfall directly to climate change.

"Even during the long, gradual process of climate change, there are still inter-annual variabilities which would've happened anyway.

"However, recent Met Office research suggests that in the decades to come, heavy rainfall events in the winter will become more frequent in a warmer climate."

FLOOD WATCHES AND WARNINGS
2006 - Flood watches 158, Flood warnings: 40, Severe flood warnings: 3
2005 - Flood watches: 113, Flood warnings: 49, Severe flood warnings: 1
2004 - Flood watches: 8, Flood warnings: 1, Severe flood warnings: 0
2003 - Flood watches: 48, Flood warnings: 16, Severe flood warnings: 0

Flood watch and flood warning figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) showed that flood watches and severe flood warnings have almost trebled within the past three years.

Flood warnings have more than doubled since 2003, the statistics revealed.

Professor Alan Werritty, of Dundee University's geography department, said he was not surprised by the increase.

He added: "Climate scientists are projecting that Scotland is going to get wetter in the west and that's consistent with what we've experienced this autumn.

"Warning has to be a key issue here because we cannot protect every possible location that might be at risk.

"But we can try and give people warnings and I think that message is coming through much more clearly than it was five years ago."

'Very depressing'

Dr Cynthia McVey, a psychologist at Glasgow Caledonian University, said incessant rainfall could also affect an individual's emotional wellbeing.

She explained: "I don't think people object to rain when they have a variety of weather.

"But when people are trying to do Christmas shopping, continuous rain makes it even more stressful.

"Christmas can also help because there is an air of festivity about it - it's a time when traditionally you stay indoors with a roaring fire and have parties - and that mitigates the effects of the weather.

"I think it would be very different though if this weather persists after the New Year - that would be a very depressing time."

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said it was producing a landslide study which would be completed next summer.

She said it would involve a detailed review of the trunk road network to identify the areas of greatest risk.

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VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See some of the worst affected areas



SEE ALSO
Flood warnings across Perthshire
12 Dec 06 |  Tayside and Central
Flooding plea for Dumfries area
06 Dec 06 |  South of Scotland
Scotland hit by severe flooding
04 Dec 06 |  Scotland
Flood warnings follow heavy rain
03 Dec 06 |  Scotland

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