Wednesday, April 18, 2012

UK had driest March in 59 years, latest figures show

John Vidal in the Guardian (UK): The depth of Britain's drought has been underlined by new government figures showing Britain experienced its driest March in 59 years with less than half the usual amount of rain falling in most parts and usually wet regions such as Wales receiving less rain than Spanish cities like Barcelona.

In what the Centre for Hydrology and Ecology said was another "exceptional" month when drought conditions spread across much of England, the north-east region received only 20% of its average rainfall and the amount of water in the soil - critical for farmers - fell to some of the lowest levels ever recorded at this time of year.

Many areas registered more than 25 dry days in March and, in some areas, more than 75% of the month's rainfall fell in 24 hours. With the exception of 1975/76, no lower 13-month total has been recorded for the Midland region since 1910.

In addition, said the centre, both underground water and reservoir levels fell the fastest in any March for 20 years. River flows were said to be "more typical of the late summer"...

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