UK braced for drought after ‘excessively dry’ April 

Posted: May 9, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, ENSO, weather

Credit: BBC / Met Office

Contrasting weather situations for the UK and the US, post El Niño. Even the wettest place in England is ‘bone dry’.

There are fears the UK could be braced for widespread drought this summer after “excessively dry conditions”, says ITV News.

The Environment Agency said the UK saw just 35% of its normal rainfall in April and farmers have been warned crops could fail.The unusual weather spell follows the driest winter since 1995-1996.

Minette Batters, Deputy President of the National Farmers’ Union, told ITV News: “I think many of my farming colleagues in East Anglia, in the south east are seeing excessively dry conditions.”

Farmer James Winslade told ITV News: “Arable farmers, grass farmers, dairy farmers – it doesn’t make any difference. They’re all worried. They’ve all cut grass earlier than they normally would have done and we haven’t had the rain to get the grass and crops growing back”.

Rupert Evelyn said the water level at Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor is already “much lower than it was in 1995, when it was a drought year.” He added: “On the surface everything looks fine. But it’s actually about 90% full.”

The situation is repeated around the UK, with the River Derwent in Yorkshire – reportedly the wettest place in the country – bone dry, with spring barley in Somerset struggling to take hold through cracked clay.

Source: UK braced for drought after ‘excessively dry’ April – ITV News
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Meanwhile, many parts of the US have the opposite situation, as Seth Borenstein reports.

That whole April showers thing went a bit overboard last month in the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday it was the second wettest April on record, averaging 3.43 inches for the nation, nearly an inch above the 20th century average. Only 1957 had more April rain. Records go back to 1895.

Only 5 percent of the U.S. is in drought, the lowest drought footprint the 17-year-old U.S. Drought Monitor has recorded. NOAA calculates that 0.75 percent of the Lower 48 states are considered “very dry.”

NOAA climate scientist Jake Crouch said many storms kept chugging over the U.S. in April from the Pacific.

Crouch said April fits global warming patterns of increasing heavy downpours interspersed with drought.

Source: Near record amount of April showers drench US last month |

  1. Tim Hammond says:

    Who would have thought that after a few wet years we would have dry years? it’s almost like the weather has large natural variation.

  2. A C Osborn says:

    Who would have thought that after years of population growth and no investment in more reservoirs that we would face droughts after such a short period without heavy rainfall.

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Tim Channon did warm of this;
    The upcoming cool phase of the AMO will not do us many favours.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Bone-dry conditions are wiping out crops which could hit shoppers with higher food prices, farmers have warned.

    In the latest stark warning, farmers have said that spring crops of barley, wheat and sugar beet are all suffering damage from a lack of water.

    If the dry conditions continue over the coming month, shoppers could be facing higher food bills, according to the National Farmers Union.

    Yesterday the Daily Mail revealed more than four fifths of the country’s rivers are running drier than their long term average, following the driest winter in the past two decades.

    The National Farmers Union Vice President Guy Smith said: ‘The situation is patchy with farmers, particularly in the South and East, reporting as low as 10 per cent of their expected March and April rainfall.

  5. Bitter&twisted says:

    The British Isles is classified as “temperate oceanic climate”- which is shorthand for mild and damp.
    Yet we have invested so little in Infrastructure that a single dry month can lead to “drought” conditions.
    The mind boggles at the insanity.

  6. oldbrew says:

    B&T – look at Tim Channon’s January post, the writing was already on the wall in parts of the south then.

  7. oldbrew says:

    BoM says 50% chance of El Niño this year, but…

    Current state of the Pacific and Indian oceans
    9 May 2017 Next issue 23 May 2017

    Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have warmed since the start of the year, but remain below El Niño thresholds.

  8. Did the Met office forecast heavy rain? That would be the traditional cause of drought.

  9. tom0mason says:

    A chance of a mudless Glastonbury Festival?

  10. Annie says:

    Sigh! Here we go again. A lack of water storage infrastructure is not drought in itself. A drought is a long term lack of rain. I remember the summer of 1990 when trees in Yorkshire and Worcestershire lost their leaves (which were all brown), Cumbria was pretty dry and fields looked like they do most summers in Australia.

  11. gymnosperm says:

    Meridional amplitude of the Northern Hemisphere jet stream is a cyclic phenomenon. It crudely corresponds with PDO, or whatever fashionable acronym; and somewhat better with an offset from AMO. The reality is that there is very likely a more fundamental cause for the general increase in amplitude: cooling.

    Fifty years ago is the new now. There was this weather forecaster in Sacramento, CA; Harry Geise, who felt he had his finger on this pulse forty years ago. He garnered quite a following with farmers as the shaman du jour, until a few spectacular failings did him in.

    He was on the tail end of that phase. Unlucky, but if you ever could figure out exactly why the rain in Spain, and the Caliph of California are inversely correlated…

  12. gymnosperm says:

    Caliphate of California.

  13. waterside4 says:

    Seth Boreinstein? And the NOAA linking wetness in the U.S. with man-made global warming?
    Musth be Shum Misthche.

  14. oldbrew says:

    waterside – it must be true because ‘they say so’ 😂

  15. oldbrew says:

    ‘The scale of this fire is frightening’ – More than 50 firefighters battle wild fires in Galway

    Homes in danger of being destroyed if winds change, Coilte chief warns

    A huge wild fire in Co Galway, which has a front expanse of 5km, is within 4.5km of houses as Coillte and emergency services battle to bring it under control.

  16. waterside4 says:

    Thank you OldBrew for the link

    Being an Old Galwegian, I am naturally appalled at the destruction of property and woodland.
    Hopefully there will be not loss of life.
    However, it would be disingenuous of me not to shed too many tears at the possible financial loss accruing to those at the windmills trough.
    After all, the natives of Connacht have bitter memories of being ripped off, and being starved to death, by avoracious absentee landlords.

  17. oldbrew says:

    AccUWeather UK summer forecast – looking quite dry…

  18. oldbrew says:

    Leading Alarmist Climate Scientist Concedes NO Anthropogenic Signal Found In Tropical Pacific
    By P Gosselin on 9. May 2017

    Mojib Latif: Climate models fail to simulate tropical Pacific. No detectable anthropogenic signal
    By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
    – – –
    So when will they stop making stuff up?

  19. rishrac says:

    It’s obvious that the evil co2 molecule is responsible. If it weren’t for co2, in particular anthro co2, the climate would be perfect. (sarc)