People around here (East Dorset)cannot understand how we can be in a drought area and now have a flood warning on the local River Stour. I really am getting bored explaining it will takes weeks or rain to get back to normal. All that flood water is just flowing out to sea and not helping.
Having read this thread, and reviewed the Env Agency Water report and Drought report, I'd definitely agree that depsite the latest rain it's not done a lot.
Down here, the aquifer levels (at least as of Apr 17th) hadn't shown any sign of recovery. I'll be interested to read the 18th to 24th report when published, as I'd hope the more recent rain might finally have percolated down. I do note that soil moisture deficites have been reduced as of the 17th, so the additonal rain might have made a small difference.
It's slightly anti-intuitive when you read that we're still in drought when on the surface there's flooding But the problem is deeper down, especially down here where we rely on aquifiers.
We're lucky up here, most of our water comes from reservoirs and they are currently 96% full - so no drought
Even reservoirs in the south are well below capacity e.g. Ardingly in Sussex at 55%, up 2% on its low at the start of the month
I think a few people have mis interpreted my posts regarding the amount of rain fall here, I realise its nowhere near enough but every little counts, that was my point.
I dont mind how much more unsettled weather we get , we need every raindrop
Edited by user 26 April 2012 14:44:54(UTC)
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You still don`t seem to be getting the amount of rain you need in the southeast,( Patricia in northwest Kent has recorded around 50mm so far).
Yet there are plenty of posters on the forum complaining about the wet weather and hoping for settled sunny conditions.
We have had 110mm so far, and I`m quite happy to see a few more weeks of unsettled weather.
I'll be happy for more unsettled weather, too. Though, the grass in my garden has become quite long and is in urgent need of cutting, and my electric lawn mower doesn't really like wet grass!
What are ya, man or mouse? Get yer grass cut (and get someone to video you so we can all have a laugh) An exciting game of russian roulette
On topic we've had 9.8mm today, 101mm this month so far out of a total this year so far of 191mm and we've still got Sundays deluge to come!
Edited by user 26 April 2012 18:52:59(UTC)
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Honestly-its driving me mad people saying things like above.Not all the rain is flowing out to sea.I farm on different soil types-some land over limestone where the rain drains through the soil and into the limestone where it accumulates and then eventually the spring flow down in the valley where i live ,increases.We have had over 100mm in april now and spring flow has increased just a small amount-but the rain that has fallen on those fields has definately gone into the ground-not down the river-ok some has evaporated but i would imagine not a lot as it has been cool and cloudy a lot of the time.
On our clay soils-on some fields wehave field drains -up to 2m deep back filled with gravel.These drains empty out into ditches which then either flow into rivers or around here we have quite a few swallow holes-where the water vanishes underground to replenish the aquifer .On our farm we have a borehole about 25 meters deepto supply the farm and a few houses.I havent measure the borehole waterdepth as it is so narrow-about 4inches with pipe going down and up but my dad did use to measure the depth with a bit of string so i might give it a go.But even from our 20 ha if we have had 100mm and only half of it went under ground that would be 10000000 liters going down the swallow hole-surely that would replenish the aquifer to some degree.Each time it rains now the drains run a few hours later.
And another thing that is annoying me is that people are trying to measure in time when the drought might end-for example saying it might take weeks ormonths of rain.Surelythe correct way would be a measure of rainfall quantity and time .I cant say for sure but i would guess if we had 125 mm for april and may and june the drought would be sorted.Well thats what we got in 2007 and as i keep saying rutland water was full to the top in july 2007.
And it its filling quite noticably now-someone might have the current figure-i was told a month ago it was 65% full-since then it has come upa fair bit.
So in summary the rain is helping a lot round here-ok the drought isnt cured yet but i can say as a farmer im now more worried about having my crops waterlogged than any drought effect.
I was talking about here in Dorset where we don't have limestone and swallow holes. I understand that it’s the quantity of rain needed but we do need months of above average rainfall here to get back to normal. Some rain must be making its way down underground but the majority of the water here from these intense downpours is just running off into the watercourses, presumably because the dry ground is not so easy for the water to be absorbed. We officially in drought here, only had 56mm of rainfall this month but still had flood warnings issued, says to me not much rainfall is sinking in.
weve had nearly double what youve had.Round here on clay soils especially farmers are finding it hard to travel on the fields -it has got that wet.This is a peak time for putting fertilizer and fungicides on arable crops and travelling down the tram lines is going to be challenging to say the least-soils are thoroughly saturated in this part of the world.
Its funny really cos it was only a few weeks back i posted about why it couldnt rain properly any more?
Yes, Sod's law! Three weeks ago I was praying for rain to help famers and growers! Our weather just doesn't know how to behave itself or how to do things in moderation!!
The latest Water Situation report is out, and it makes depressing reading in terms of the groundwater levels in many places.
Despite all the rain, it's not affected many of the central, southern and south eastern aquifiers, although reservoir levels are recovering, river flows are mostly normal and soil moisture deficits are reduced, so I guess there's some good news.
It will be interesting to see how far the recent rains can take us if conditions become no wetter than average soon into May (the opening days looking potentially soaking in the south at the moment).
My hunch at the moment is that May will turn out drier than average in the north, but with rainfall near or above average in the south. A lot of the south's rainfall may be packed into relatively short periods of time, however.
Good, constant, moderate rain here overnight and still continuing - very useful for local growers and should start helping the water table Whilst it won't clear the 18 month deficit, of even the deficit for this year, it's coming just at the right time and with more rain over the weekend I think the growing season should be better this year than last.
Er its gone beyond the useful-and on the brink of becoming damaging-here in Rutland at least.Our soils are now at field capacity-field drains are all running as far as i could tell from my walk round this evening.Claysoils are becoming waterlogged and no crops like standing in water for long-especially osr in full flower.Saturday and Sundays deluge is only going to make things worse.The growing season has gone from one extreme to the other in the space of 4 weeks.Amazing.
Edited by user 28 April 2012 19:06:24(UTC)
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As I said a while back when people were saying "we need the rain", be careful what you wish for.I would have gladly taken drought conditions right up to the end of summer, since sooner or later a return to wetter than average conditions was inevitable.
Edited by user 28 April 2012 19:10:40(UTC)
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I think we all knew it had to end sooner or later and it would likely come in floods. Doesn't it always! The great British weather certainly gives us plenty to moan about!