Preston loses its soggy city status to Lancashire neighbour

A rain soaked Ecumenical service at the Preston Guild 1992
A rain soaked Ecumenical service at the Preston Guild 1992
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Raining champion Preston has been finally washed off its perch as England’s wettest city.

READ MORE: Preston’s named wettest place in England back in 2014
And the crown as the country’s cloudburst capital has been snatched in a shock coup by northern neighbours Lancaster, with notoriously damp Manchester nowhere in sight. Preston gets an average of 153.2 rainy days a year – a day more than the new title-holders.

Yet, according to Met Office records dating back to 1981, Lancaster is still wetter because it averages 1048.8 millimetres a year, while its rival down the M6 gets only 1033.6mm.

In fact - and in real money - there’s only half an inch in it.

The study, by garden and power tool distributors Blaupunkt, found that over the past 37 years Glasgow has been by far the soggiest place in the UK.

Lancaster is second, with Preston and Newry in Northern Ireland rated joint-third.

After that Leeds and Bradford are joint fifth, Truro in Cornwall is seventh and Bangor, Cardiff and St David’s are all equal eighth.

You have to get down to 14th in the UK Wettest City league table to find Manchester, for years thought to be the capital for liquid sunshine. Along with neighbour Salford, the city gets only 151.7 days of rain a year and an average total of 867.1mm.

Liverpool trails in at No 23 in the table with 144.3 days and 836.6mm. Bottom of the league - or some people would say top - comes Cambridge which sees rain on only 107.5 days a year and averages a total of 568.1mm.

The presence of both Lancaster and Preston in the top three of the UK’s wet cities comes as no surprise to meteorologist Martin Bowles from the Met Office.

He told the Post: “If you look at an average rainfall map of the UK over the past 30 years you will find that on the west side of hills you get more rain - in fact much more rain - than you do on the east side.

“That is because the prevailing wind tends to be from the west. So when you get moist air coming across the Atlantic and it reaches hills it gets pushed up and, as it does, it cools down and is released as rain.

“Western upslopes tend to get sometimes three or four times as much rain as on the other side. So it’s not surprising that it rains more in Preston and Lancaster than it does in a lot of other places.”