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Drought Spreads Across England

Posted by feww on April 16, 2012

“A longer-term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond” forecast for England

East Anglia, the South East, the Midlands and the South West are now officially in drought, while dry weather continues to impact other areas of England, the UK Environment Agency reported.

Parts of England received less than 60% of the average winter rainfall, the Agency reported, warning that the drought could last beyond Christmas, and into a third dry winter.

Total rainfall across England and Wales for March 2012.  Source: UK Environment Agency.

Drought status for 17 new counties in South West England and the Midlands 

Seventeen new counties in South West England and the Midlands have been designated drought status, after two dry winters have left rivers and ground waters depleted, some of them at record lows, said the Agency. The dry weather is ” taking its toll on the environment and farmers – causing problems for wildlife, wetlands and crop production, ” the Agency reported

“In the Midlands the Environment Agency has rescued fish from the River Lathkill in Derbyshire after it dried up, and the Rivers Tern, Sow, Soar and Leadon reached their lowest ever recorded levels in March. In the South West rivers are also suffering and nationally important chalk streams, such as the Hampshire Avon and the Dorset Stour, which support rare trout and salmon species, are exceptionally low.”

New Regions Impacted by Drought

The South West region covers:

  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Somerset
  • Bristol
  • South Gloucestershire
  • Parts of Hampshire
  • Most of Wiltshire.

The Midlands region covers:

  • Nottinghamshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Derbyshire
  • Staffordshire
  • West Midlands
  • Warwickshire
  • Shropshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Herefordshire
  • Gloucestershire

Drought Situation

The counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire, and west Norfolk were declared drought areas in June 2011. “In February 2012 following a dry winter, Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Surrey, London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, the east of Gloucestershire and the remainder of East Anglia and in March 2012 parts of Yorkshire are now also in drought.”

Third Year of Drought?

“A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely,” head of Water Resources at the UK Environment Agency said.

See Also:

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Global Drought

Recent Global Drought Links

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