scillydave
04 June 2023 12:13:09
With no measurable rainfall I this neck of the woods since May 9th the prospect of a drought once again looms large.
Locally it's still green although the usual places such as roadside verges are starting to brown up. I went for a walk at the Tarr steps on Exmoor yesterday and the moss and other epiphytes were showing signs of stress. Ground water levels seem to be holding up fairly well though.
 
Currently living at roughly 65m asl North of Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Formerly of, Birdlip, highest village in the Cotswolds and snow heaven in winter; Hawkinge in Kent - roof of the South downs and Isles of Scilly, paradise in the UK.
Bertwhistle
04 June 2023 13:02:41
Watching it closely here. 2 weeks ago the school field was still generally too damp to use. Now it's starting to brown, albeit in patches. 
Local streams are very low but not yet dry, as they were 10 months ago.
Bertie, Itchen Valley.
'We'll never see 40 celsius in this country'.
Retron
04 June 2023 13:26:14
It's week three of the absolute drought here. I'm hoping the switch to warm and humid next weekend comes with some rain at least... the cracks in any areas of bare earth are now pretty large! You could drop a pen in them easily...
Leysdown, north Kent
DEW
  • DEW
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04 June 2023 14:29:36
Reservoir levels in the south are holding up well, still mostly above average
https://www.southernwater.co.uk/water-for-life/reservoir-levels 
and the groundwater is well above average for the time of year though going down quite quickly (Eastbourne is still above max recorded, just)
https://sites.google.com/view/groundwatergraphs/home/groundwater-data/sussex 
Last rain mostly around 12th-14th May, though Brighton had a heavy shower on the 30th (0.8")
War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

Chichester 12m asl
johncs2016
04 June 2023 14:57:23
Originally Posted by: DEW 

Reservoir levels in the south are holding up well, still mostly above average
https://www.southernwater.co.uk/water-for-life/reservoir-levels 
and the groundwater is well above average for the time of year though going down quite quickly (Eastbourne is still above max recorded, just)
https://sites.google.com/view/groundwatergraphs/home/groundwater-data/sussex 
Last rain mostly around 12th-14th May, though Brighton had a heavy shower on the 30th (0.8")



That all fine and well for down south where it was a lot wetter during the spring.

However, it is a completely different story up here in Scotland as you will have noticed if you read my last report on this month's precipitation thread on the latest water scarcity report which was produced by SEPA (you as a moderator on this site are of course, more than welcome to move that post into here if you believe that this would be a more appropriate place for it).

That water scarcity report (which can be viewed from here ) shows the current water scarcity levels across most of Scotland to be at early warning status at the very least with only a small part of NE Scotland still remaining at normal levels for that. In addition to that, parts of western Scotland are now at alert level with a small part of NW Scotland now already experiencing moderate levels of water scarcity.

SEPA have warned that with very little in the way of rainfall in the latest model output for the coming few weeks, the situation as regards to water scarcity is likely to quickly escalate from where it is at the moment.

So far during this year, we have only had one month with above average rainfall (that was back in March) and even then, our rainfall totals were still very close to that 1991-2020 average, so you have to go back a very long way now to find the last time that we actually had a properly wet month here in Edinburgh.

In addition to that, all of that is coming on top of that large deficit from last year which never even came close to being made up at any point in time.

Because of that, any water shortages which do arise from this are likely to be even worse and even more severe than anything which we had experienced during last year, which is what I was predicting all along.

Despite all of that, groundwater levels are fairly normal here at the moment, but are quite low across the rest of Scotland and falling quickly whilst river levels are also already below average and dropping quickly.
 
The north of Edinburgh, usually always missing out on snow events which occur not just within the rest of Scotland or the UK, but also within the rest of Edinburgh.
Chunky Pea
04 June 2023 16:30:08
Officially in 'absolute drought' conditions here too, Amazing though how grassy areas still look lush and green with little sign of stress as of yet, despite the constant sunshine and low to mid 20s temps that last throughout the late morning to mid evening period. Tenuous hints that a few showers might eventually break out over next weekend but even then, are likely to be hit or miss jobs. 
Current Conditions
https://t.ly/MEYqg 


"You don't have to know anything to have an opinion"
--Roger P, 12/Oct/2022
moomin75
04 June 2023 16:59:18
Originally Posted by: Chunky Pea 

Officially in 'absolute drought' conditions here too, Amazing though how grassy areas still look lush and green with little sign of stress as of yet, despite the constant sunshine and low to mid 20s temps that last throughout the late morning to mid evening period. Tenuous hints that a few showers might eventually break out over next weekend but even then, are likely to be hit or miss jobs. 


Not surprised the grass is lush and green.
We've just had one of the wettest springs in years, this country has plenty of water in reserve.
I don't buy this "drought" nonsense no matter what the definition is.
We have a maritime climate and it will always rain and make up for dry spells.

We've had a dry spell, not a drought, in my opinion.
Witney, Oxfordshire
100m ASL
moomin75
04 June 2023 17:00:25
Originally Posted by: DEW 

Reservoir levels in the south are holding up well, still mostly above average
https://www.southernwater.co.uk/water-for-life/reservoir-levels 
and the groundwater is well above average for the time of year though going down quite quickly (Eastbourne is still above max recorded, just)
https://sites.google.com/view/groundwatergraphs/home/groundwater-data/sussex 
Last rain mostly around 12th-14th May, though Brighton had a heavy shower on the 30th (0.8")


Because we've had an exceptionally wet spring.
We are now having a dry spell. It happens often in our maritime climate.
 
Witney, Oxfordshire
100m ASL
Retron
04 June 2023 17:08:26
Originally Posted by: moomin75 

Because we've had an exceptionally wet spring.
We are now having a dry spell. It happens often in our maritime climate.
 


You might have had, but it's not been exceptionally wet down here - a little above average across spring as a whole, but ending with a drought (which is still ongoing).

It's not nonsense to call it a drought, as it is a drought!

The reservoir data linked above is of course backdated close to the start of the dry period. I've no doubt it'll show a steady decline by the time it catches up with now.
Leysdown, north Kent
DEW
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04 June 2023 17:21:10
Originally Posted by: Retron 

You might have had, but it's not been exceptionally wet down here - a little above average across spring as a whole, but ending with a drought (which is still ongoing).

It's not nonsense to call it a drought, as it is a drought!

The reservoir data linked above is of course backdated close to the start of the dry period. I've no doubt it'll show a steady decline by the time it catches up with now.



Perhaps I should have said that the reservoirs are well stocked, as the date given for them is May 18th. But given that it takes exceptionally heavy rain in summer (e.g. a fall of at least an inch) to achieve any significant run-off, I wouldn't expect the decrease in levels to be much different from other years, drought or not; and if it does decline at a higher rate this would be due to increased usage.

But the groundwater levels are live data
War does not determine who is right, only who is left - Bertrand Russell

Chichester 12m asl
moomin75
04 June 2023 18:47:14
Originally Posted by: Retron 

You might have had, but it's not been exceptionally wet down here - a little above average across spring as a whole, but ending with a drought (which is still ongoing).

It's not nonsense to call it a drought, as it is a drought!

The reservoir data linked above is of course backdated close to the start of the dry period. I've no doubt it'll show a steady decline by the time it catches up with now.



We will agree to disagree.
It's a dry spell, not a drought. It will be wet again soon no doubt.
A couple of dry weeks doesn't make a drought, no matter what the definition. 
 
Witney, Oxfordshire
100m ASL
doctormog
04 June 2023 18:54:53
You can agree to disagree all you like but by the official definition parts of the UK are in drought. You not agreeing with the definition does not change that fact.

“A couple of dry weeks doesn't make a drought, no matter what the definition.” Ironically that is almost the exact definition of what does make a drought in this country. If you are comparing the definition in this country to the definition in other climates I think you will find that we probably cannot have a drought. As it is we have an official definition and those criteria have been met. Opinion is irrelevant to that fact.
Chunky Pea
04 June 2023 19:14:42
Originally Posted by: moomin75 

Not surprised the grass is lush and green.
We've just had one of the wettest springs in years, this country has plenty of water in reserve.
I don't buy this "drought" nonsense no matter what the definition is.
We have a maritime climate and it will always rain and make up for dry spells.

We've had a dry spell, not a drought, in my opinion.



I speak only from an Irish perspective though but I appreciate that the UK likely had a much wetter spring than over here. 
The entirety of winter and spring over here was as bland and samey as I have ever witnessed. Very few rain events with zero wind events which is unheard of. 

I have a pet theory ever since that unusually strong anticyclone that set itself up over the NE Atlantic region back in mid July 2021 jarred the synoptic scale pattern so much that we are still feeling the effects of it now, two years down the road. The hellish heat and humidity of summer 2021 was an event that really only occurs over here once in every 7 or 8 years on average, but then, we did it all over again a year later last summer! And the way things are looking, it looks like another summer of humid hell heat is setting itself up for another round. 

Cooling rainfalls during the summer have become so rare now that, and I say this without attempting to sound hyperbolic, I have a better chance of seeing snow in the winter than rain in the summer, and that is most certainly saying something!




 
Current Conditions
https://t.ly/MEYqg 


"You don't have to know anything to have an opinion"
--Roger P, 12/Oct/2022
tierradelfuego
04 June 2023 20:12:41
Personally I think the issue, or part of it at least, is that some people (not naming names, because it's never only one) really don't get the fact that the weather varies a large amount in a relatively small area in the UK, let alone the whole of the island or islands.

Yes, we have had a very wet spring here, and looking at the the Weatherlink obs across from here to Witney (as a close geographical example only of course) we have had more rain than any of their local sites. Would I say we are in drought here, no not really... the grass is green, however it is also bone dry almost everywhere. Also, the local soil makes a big difference, clay to chalk etc... We are on clay soil, so as moisture laden as possible, but also the quickest to run off, as possible, when the soil is dry. Fishing on a chalk river today near Andover, 15 miles away from my home, the banks were still under water, and that is pure chalk with easy run off.

So, it's pretty obvious that what we've had here is nowhere similar to what others close or even further distance locations have had in terms of rainfall since the turn of the year, they have different soil as well, so saying that we are not or are in a drought is extremely localised and relative.
Bucklebury
West Berkshire Downs AONB
135m ASL

VP2 with daytime FARS
Rainfall collector separated at ground level
Anemometer separated above roof level
WeatherLink Live (Byles Green Weather)
Saint Snow
04 June 2023 21:03:05
Originally Posted by: doctormog 

You can agree to disagree all you like but by the official definition parts of the UK are in drought. You not agreeing with the definition does not change that fact.

“A couple of dry weeks doesn't make a drought, no matter what the definition.” Ironically that is almost the exact definition of what does make a drought in this country. If you are comparing the definition in this country to the definition in other climates I think you will find that we probably cannot have a drought. As it is we have an official definition and those criteria have been met. Opinion is irrelevant to that fact.



🤣

Your (and Retron's) level of patience is to be admired. 

FWIW, in Moomin's neck of the woods, the 3 spring months have been:

March - wetter than average
April - average 
May - average 

So hardly exceptional. 

For MBY comparison:

March - slightly wetter than average 
April - slightly drier than average 
May - a fair bit drier than average 

That's not untypical of the majority of Britain. 

Source: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-actual-and-anomaly-maps  

Grass is readily yellowing here. We've not had rain for about 3 weeks. 

Martin
Home: St Helens (26m asl) Work: Manchester (75m asl)
A TWO addict since 14/12/01
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Aneurin Bevan
johncs2016
04 June 2023 21:19:48
Originally Posted by: Saint Snow 

🤣

Your (and Retron's) level of patience is to be admired. 

FWIW, in Moomin's neck of the woods, the 3 spring months have been:

March - wetter than average
April - average 
May - average 

So hardly exceptional. 

For MBY comparison:

March - slightly wetter than average 
April - slightly drier than average 
May - a fair bit drier than average 

That's not untypical of the majority of Britain. 

Source: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-actual-and-anomaly-maps  

Grass is readily yellowing here. We've not had rain for about 3 weeks. 



Your rainfall anomalies over the last three months are similar to what they are for here in Edinburgh over the last three months, but those are based on averages which are always different depending on which part of the country you are in.

I know that you live in NW England which is generally a much wetter part of the UK on average, compared to here in Edinburgh which is actually one of Scotland's driest cities on average.

This means that in order for you to have had a similar rainfall anomaly as what we have had here in Edinburgh, your actual rainfall totals would have still had to have been higher than what they have been here in Edinburgh over that same period.

Given that everything is already turning yellow where you are due to that recent lack of rainfall, you can therefore imagine what it is like here in Edinburgh where we have had even less in the way of actual rainfall.

This lack of rainfall has already caused quite a big wildfire up in the Highlands as was highlighted on one of Mark Vogan's recent videos, and I fear that is only a matter of time before we see that happening here in Edinburgh as well in locations such as Arthur's Seat and the Pentland Hills if these tinder-dry conditions continue to remain in place here.
 
The north of Edinburgh, usually always missing out on snow events which occur not just within the rest of Scotland or the UK, but also within the rest of Edinburgh.
Bolty
04 June 2023 21:50:57
It's starting to look very dry around here. The last day with rain was 19 May, and that was only 3mm. The last day with significant rainfall (more than 10mm) was 8 May - nearly a month ago now. It doesn't look like there will be much this coming week either, unless the early signs for thunderstorms next weekend materialise.

These rapid flips from very wet periods to dry periods have been a defining characteristic of this decade so far, for our weather. Ever since about late 2019, we've been seeing these alternating spells of deluge and drought with very little in between. It's really quite fascinating.
Scott
Blackrod, Lancashire (4 miles south of Chorley) at 156m asl.
My weather station 
NMA
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  • Advanced Member
05 June 2023 06:42:44
Originally Posted by: Bolty 

It's starting to look very dry around here. The last day with rain was 19 May, and that was only 3mm. The last day with significant rainfall (more than 10mm) was 8 May - nearly a month ago now. It doesn't look like there will be much this coming week either, unless the early signs for thunderstorms next weekend materialise.

These rapid flips from very wet periods to dry periods have been a defining characteristic of this decade so far, for our weather. Ever since about late 2019, we've been seeing these alternating spells of deluge and drought with very little in between. It's really quite fascinating.



Yes they have. The last rain here was the 19th May with some torrential downpours that reached the parts of the garden few rains ever do.
25mm perhaps but no gauge. https://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/23535193.flash-flooding-weymouth-thunderstorms-hit-dorset/ 

And that was it. It's been dry since then. It almost feels like change on the way with the forecast drift of air from a southerly direction bringing the change to wetter conditions again? I wouldn't put any money on it though.
Vale of the Great Dairies
South Dorset
Elevation 60m 197ft
Rob K
05 June 2023 23:32:31
Originally Posted by: moomin75 

Not surprised the grass is lush and green.
We've just had one of the wettest springs in years, this country has plenty of water in reserve.
I don't buy this "drought" nonsense no matter what the definition is.
We have a maritime climate and it will always rain and make up for dry spells.

We've had a dry spell, not a drought, in my opinion.


Quite. The ford next to my in-laws' house (which was absolutely bone dry for weeks on end last summer) is still almost up over the main road - no sign of any drop in the chalk stream levels yet. Everything is very lush and green.
Yateley, NE Hampshire, 73m asl
"But who wants to be foretold the weather? It is bad enough when it comes, without our having the misery of knowing about it beforehand." — Jerome K. Jerome
johncs2016
06 June 2023 07:49:35
Originally Posted by: moomin75 

Not surprised the grass is lush and green.
We've just had one of the wettest springs in years, this country has plenty of water in reserve.
I don't buy this "drought" nonsense no matter what the definition is.
We have a maritime climate and it will always rain and make up for dry spells.

We've had a dry spell, not a drought, in my opinion.



If it really was the case that dry spells were always fully made up for in the end, we would not have come anywhere close to seeing more than two years in a row with that rainfall deficit here in Edinburgh continuing to build up over time.

At some point in time within that period, we would have expected to have seen a very wet spell which would have balanced out those deficits but this hasn't happened here for over two years now which in itself shows that it isn't necessarily every single rainfall deficit which is wiped out in the end by that much talked about "law of averages".

At the end of the day, we have to look at it like tossing a coin. When we do that, we may well get a certain number of heads or tails in a row, but this does nothing to change the fact that our our chances of getting a head or a tail with the next throw are still exactly equal to each other.

I would therefore imagine that our chances of getting a wetter spell or a drier spell would probably work in more or less exactly that same manner.
 
The north of Edinburgh, usually always missing out on snow events which occur not just within the rest of Scotland or the UK, but also within the rest of Edinburgh.
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