I notice the tv media is running the story on water shortages this morning on the beeb. I have been predicting this story would surface very soon as another dry winter in the South comes to a close. The problem is selling it to the General Public. When i say to my family about it they say well its been a mild damp winter, can't see why water should be short. The truth is of course we have had month upon month of below average rainfall, not just this winter but pretty much here for several years. It seems the UK's weather is now driven by High pressure for 90% of the time. Yes it may well be in the wrong place for much of the time giving us cloudy and grey conditions but rarely is it far enough away to be conducive to heavy rain away from Northern Britain. If this pattern continues through the summer I can foresee major problems for areas of the UK, especially towards the SE come the end of the season.
I hope your right Matty but I think that nature's balance for Southern and Eastern Britain is much drier than it used to be but I suppose that a contentious issue for discussion elsewhere.
Please could you support this claim with evidence and/ or links & data?
The troule is 18 out of 23 months in some areas have saw below average rain fall so this pattern could take ages to break out of.
He doesn't need to. Matty is a weather god and what he says is always correct I too am half expecting a deluge in March to redress the balnace, but I too have no data to substantiate my claim.
Just want to point out that I live in the southern half of the UK, but it's been pretty much average here in terms of rainfall over the past few years, including 2011 (but AFAICT, the number of days when rain has fallen has been above average during the summer months in recent years)
There does appear to have been a predominance of a W'ly or NW'ly flow delivering convective rainfall, but with main frontal activity tending to pass further north than here.
The IDO (Indian Ocean Dipole) model has updated and for those wanting substancial rain fall look away now, its below average right through to November!
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/2007/forecast/tprep.glob.MAM2012.1feb2012.gif - March to May
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/2007/forecast/tprep.glob.JJA2012.1feb2012.gif - June to August
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/2007/forecast/tprep.glob.SON2012.1feb2012.gif - September to November
As for spring temperatures think warm, warm and maybe hot later
http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/2007/forecast/temp2.glob.MAM2012.1feb2012.gif - March to May
Edited by user 20 February 2012 12:29:03(UTC)
| Reason: Not specified
I'm pretty sure most of Europe will remember this winter as being very cold (even if it was mild at the beginning!)
As for the drought, it usually seems to be the case that as soon as it hits the front page of the papers it rains immediately. I remember the last occasion, sitting on the train hearing people laughing about the drought stories as the rain lashed at the windows. Not that a morning's rain does much to alleviate it, but it does a good job of making the stories look silly!
Not looking likely down here in the South this time though Rob.
A westerfly flow simply doesn't cut it in the SE unless you have stalling frontal activity and associated waves which rack up the precipitation. Without a decent southerly tracking jet we'll struggle to get near average rainfall let alone above. The next couple of months are also not great for convective deluges either although by late April things are changing. In essence, Spring is often dry relative to other seasons down here so if theres a shortage now it'll probably still be there come summer. As for Matty's point about balancing up, summer rain is usually pretty gash in terms of water shortages as what is needed is heavy rains in the cooler months of the year to top up groundwater etc.
Nah - It was 'tit for tat'
Not sure whether they'll introduce the hosepipe ban over this side of the region as we are not in the 'danger zone' (so to speak)
Probably not then. It would be like issuing life support to a healthy person
Tit for tat
The region joins parts of eastern England which have been in the grip of drought since last summer.
Levels in some reservoirs, rivers and groundwater aquifers in the South East are well below normal levels after two exceptionally dry winters.
The drought was declared after the Environment Department (Defra) brought together water companies, farmers and wildlife groups to discuss potential water shortagesr.
The Environment Agency says the East and South East will need well above average rainfall over the next few months for groundwater levels to recover.
Following the summit, Thames Water warned there was a high chance of water restrictions such as hosepipe bans this summer, unless there was significant rainfall or customers used less water.
Some rivers and groundwater levels are lower than during 1976 - the hottest year on record.
Locations in drought
parts of Bedfordshire
parts of Northamptonshire
Edited by user 20 February 2012 15:24:30(UTC)
| Reason: Not specified
Drought declared in the south east of EnglandThe south east of England is now officially in a state of drought, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs admitted today.The region joins parts of eastern England which have been drought-afflicted since last summer, with some reservoirs, rivers and groundwater aquifers in the South East well below normal levels after two dry winters.The state of drought in the region was declared after the Environment Department (Defra) convened a summit of water companies, farmers and wildlife groups today to discuss potential water shortages in England.Following the summit, Thames Water warned that there was a high chance of water restrictions such as hosepipe bans this summer, unless there was significant rainfall or customers used less water.It comes after Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said most of Britain was facing a hosepipe ban this summer as groundwater levels lower than in the drought of 1976."A hosepipe ban is more likely this year. I think people were quite surprised last year that, not withstanding the fact that it was so dry, that there were no hosepipe bans," Ms Spelman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme."We have had the second dry winter in a row. Whereas last year it was principally the farmers that were affected by the dry conditions and the public water supply was not affected, I think it is more likely that the public water supply will be affected unless we have substantial rainfall between now and the summer," Ms Spelman said.She added: "The purpose of the summit is to get everybody round the table and decide what actions need to be taken against the risk of droughts."The north west and Scotland have seen substantial rainfall this winter. Ms Spelman said the government had been urged to build a pipeline to supply the south east, but added water is "heavy and costly to transport".She called on families to start conserving water. "What's counter-intuitive is to start saving water now. You might think about saving water in the summer when it's hot. The point about having the summit now is to take preventative action so we can mitigate the impact in the future."The average rainfall this winter has been lower than the months preceding the severe drought in 1976, which brought a summer of water rationing, damaged crops and wild fires.The worst affected areas are the east of England, the Midlands and the South East. The River Kennet in Wiltshire has dried up completely west of Marlborough. The River Chess in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, is also dry. The Environment Agency has begun moving fish out of some rivers because of the low levels of water, which is an unusual step to take in February.