Dry winter has led to drought warnings says expert
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The forecaster said that the last month has so far been the driest July in England since 1911. As of July 26, there had only been 15.8mm of rain averaged across England, which is just 24 percent of the expected amount for the month. The forecaster noted: “At this stage in the month we would expect to have seen well over three-quarters of the month’s rain to have already fallen in an average July.”
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency (EA) convened the National Drought Group yesterday to discuss the prospect of a drought being declared in August.
The meeting was due to be held in October to prepare for 2023, but was brought forward to July as a result of the dry weather.
Most of England has been moved into “prolonged dry weather” status – meaning the EA is now taking precautionary actions to mitigate impacts.
The EA said that if further measures are required, temporary use bans – more commonly known as hosepipe bans – will be determined by individual water companies.
It warned that rivers are “exceptionally low” but there are currently no plans for restrictions on essential water use.
But the group advised the public to “reduce unnecessary water consumption”.
Officials said recent abnormally high temperatures have exacerbated conditions resulting from lower than normal rainfall so far this year in many parts of England.
The Met Office warned that there is “scant prospect of significant improvement within the next week or two”, as there is not much rain in the forecast for the upcoming weeks.
It is forecasting potentially several more dry weeks ahead, particularly in the south and east of the country.
Meanwhile, Netweather meteorologist Nick Finnis said there is “little in the way of rain on the horizon for large parts of England and Wales” over the next few weeks.
He warned that the country is “in the midst of a growing drought across many areas”.
Mark McCarthy, Head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said that the dry weather has not been isolated to July, as the entire year has been drier than average in the UK.
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He said: “It is not just July that has been dry.
“Since the start of the year, all months apart from February have been drier than average in the UK too.
“The result of this is that the winter, spring and summer of 2022 have all seen less than the UK average seasonal rainfall.
“England has seen the lowest levels during these periods and, rainfall totals for the first six months of the year are around 25 percent below their long-term average, with the driest regions in the east and southeast.”
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