The rain seems to be settling in this week with a couple of weather warnings for heavy downpours among the usual wind and rain.

But do you know which are the wettest parts of the UK and why?

Well, if you live in the west you’re going to get wet, simple as that. According to the Met Office the wettest parts of the UK are concentrated in mountainous regions with Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands all receiving more than 4 metres of rainfall in a year.

Argyllshire tops the list with a soaking 2,274mm of rain each year and western areas in Scotland hold most of the top 10 spots with the exception of Merionethshire in Wales in at number 4 and Caernarvonshire at 6.

The highest listed English place is the north west county of Westmorland in at 9.

Cardiff is Britain’s wettest city with 1,152mm falling on it each year. Everyone thinks Manchester is really wet but that comes in at 15 behind Belfast and, surprisingly, Leeds. London is one of the driest at number 63 with a mere 557mm of rain.

But why do these counties get such a drenching?

According to the Met Office: “The prevailing warm moist westerly winds mean that the west of the UK is more likely to receive rainfall from Atlantic weather systems which usually move from west to east across the UK and as they do so the amount of rainfall they deposit reduces.

“This is because the mountains of the northern and western UK force the prevailing westerly winds to rise, which cools the air and consequently enhances the formation of cloud and rain in these locations.”

The Met Office forecast this week says that heavy rain and strong winds in Wales and England today will clear eastwards to be replaced by sunny spells and heavy blustery showers. Rain in Northern Ireland and western Scotland will persist.

Ironically, there will be clear skies tonight which could lead to frost in several places tomorrow before the rain is back in the west for the morning.

On Friday wet and very windy weather in the west will move eastwards later. Sunshine and showers on Saturday and Sunday could be heavy and blustery.

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