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UK Weird Weather 2012: From Drought To Deluge In Pictures

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From droughts to floods, Britain has been baked and battered with some seriously weird weather in 2012.

Ushered in with snow, January lived up to the old nursery rhyme verse. But that was where the normal weather ended.

snow

Snowy weather in January on the east side of the Pennines

After one of the driest springs for over a century, an 'official state of drought' was sternly declared in southern and eastern England in February.

Britons were hit with hosepipe bans and Wales was urged to sell its water 'like oil' by the former head of Welsh Water.

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Ardingly Resevoir in West Sussex, which at one point this year stood at only 12% of its capacity.

But being in drought quickly turned to being drenched, as beleaguered Brits suffered the wettest April to June on record.

Soil left parched by prolonged dry weather meant the rain ran quickly off the hard, compacted ground. Flood warnings were issued for large swathes of the UK as water levels rose dangerously high.

But the 'drought' persisted, with the Environment Secretary warning that standpipes may have be installed in streets. Indeed, the Environment Agency decided to change its very vocabulary this year, as a sop to the soggy weather.

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A house in Dura Den in Fife was almost swept away by the weight of the flood water after almost 36 hours of rain

The agency decided to distinguish between a "meteorological drought", meaning a long dry spell, a "hydrological drought" meaning low reservoir levels, and an "agricultural drought" which affects crops.

The agency might have swapped sandbags for semantics but all most Brits knew is it didn't just rain this yearit poured

April showers continued into with May, with Durham even seeing some snow during usually mild month.

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A man struggles in the snow in Durham IN MAY

In fact, the weather was so bad, this picture of an entirely cloud free Great Britain made the headlines in May.

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The University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station captured a striking image showing the entire country almost completely cloud-free.

It certainly makes a difference from this miserable picture, taken in September:

shrouded in cloud

The Met Office released the above satellite shot of Britain, shrouded in cloud

Gales ripped through June and the Jubilee was a washout. This electrifying sight was captured on in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in June, no less.

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Lightning strikes over Newcastle-upon-Tyne

In August Britain was given a slight reprieve with some swelteringly hot nights and day. But by the end of the month, it was looking rather bleak again. As a rare supercell storm swept across the Midlands, hailstones the size of golf balls damaged cars and buildings.

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Hailstones in the Midlands in August

Britain was battered with storms that seemed altogether unseasonal and hopes for an Indian summer were dashed as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness was merely a drizzling foggy funk.

Some of the most striking shots were taken in the coastal village of Fittie in Aberdeen as winds whipped up a storm across the seafront, covering the village in foam.

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Cars were drenched in the oceanic suds as the white spray came over the sea wall.

The foam could be the combination of decomposing algae churned with the tide and the wind. The Environmental Agency said the foam usually disappears quite quickly.

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Artist Joyce Cairns told STV: "I have stayed in the village for 33 years and I have seen wild storms but never anything as bad as this."

Flooding has dominated headlines for the latter half of 2012 with 4,500 properties flooded and apocalyptic scenes of rain pictured in the newspapers. As the 'Beast from the East' freezes Britain with its shivering Siberian chills, take a look at some of the best weather shots of the year below.

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