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Southern England rainfall deficit - we need more rain

Grassclippings - Monthly Rainfall DeficitIt was been the wettest April in the UK since records began in 1910, with flood alerts and warnings in place across England and Wales.

Why then are parts of the country still officially in drought and why is the hosepipe ban set to remain?   Today it's 28 degrees - crazy!

People have long spoken of April showers, but the likes of last month's heavy rain and storms haven't been seen in more than 100 years.

The heavens opened just as hosepipe bans were introduced and a number of regions were officially declared to be in drought.

While the long, persistent rainfall has provided relief for farmers, gardeners and wildlife in drought areas, experts say it will take more than one wet month to make up for many dry ones.

According to John Rodda, a water consultant and former head of the World Meteorological Association, in the 12 months to March, about 40% less rainfall than average was recorded. This means, he says, that there was a shortfall of about 120mm. 

April’s heavy rain runs against the long-term trend for southern England.  As a result, groundwater levels are at a historic low. But experts say the rain has come at the wrong time of the year for these stocks to be easily replenished.   Provisional Met Office data up to 29 April showed 121.8mm (4.8in) of rain fell on average, almost double the long-term average for April of 69.6mm.

But Jamie Hannaford from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology says we need rain in winter rather than summer. "It's in the winter season that the rain that falls can soak down through the soil and make its way down into the groundwater stores.

Read more on The BBC Web Site

Source BBC

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