Dry February thus far for many


With not up to per week of February to move, conversations are already being had about how dry the month has been, and what affect this will have.  

This month, we’ve been exploring the theme of water safety and local weather exchange. However in additional granular element, February 2023’s loss of constant rain for lots of the UK underlines one of the commonplace variations between climate and local weather, and the place there’s an overlap in demanding situations.  

The summer time of 2022 noticed record-breaking temperatures when 40.3°C used to be recorded for the primary time in the United Kingdom. The primary 8 months of that 12 months have been additionally the driest for the reason that infamously dry begin to 1976. With those notable climate occasions in thoughts, water assets have continuously been within the information, and a drought used to be declared via the Setting Company for plenty of portions of the United Kingdom in August 2022. 

That declaration of drought used to be therefore got rid of for many spaces as Autumn rainfall crowned up assets for plenty of, regardless that no longer all.  

Drought comes all the way down to a variety of things and is a lot more complicated than simply rainfall quantities, with hydrology, geography and infrastructure additionally influencing drought prerequisites and the supply of water in the United Kingdom’s reservoirs. Alternatively, a dry February has led to a couple hypothesis about climate developments in fresh weeks.  

Month thus far 

As much as 20 February, you’d be expecting to have round 71% of the month’s overall moderate rainfall. Alternatively, the United Kingdom has lately had simply 36% (34.5mm) thus far, consistent with provisional Met Workplace figures.  

A scene of some grey skies - though with no rain.
Top drive has been in large part chargeable for a dry first part of February.

However while you glance into the regional knowledge, the loss of rainfall turns into extra marked. Whilst Scotland has thus far had 59% (83.5mm) of its moderate February rainfall, the south of England has had simply 6% (3.8mm). For England it’s been the driest 1st to twentyth February since 1993.  

Some person counties additionally stand out because of a loss of rainfall. Hertfordshire has had a median of simply 0.7mm of rain thus far this month – simply 1% of its moderate for the entire month. On the time of writing 14 counties in central and southern England had recorded not up to 2mm of rainfall thus far this month. 

In fact, those figures will exchange via the top of the month, but it surely does give a sign of rather how dry this February has been thus far. For lots of of those spaces the dry spell started in mid January. Pershore in Worcestershire as an example has had simply 1.6mm of rain since 15th January and for plenty of counties of central and southern England the duration from mid January to now has been a notable, however no longer listing breaking, iciness dry spell.  

Mark McCarthy is the executive of the Nationwide Local weather Knowledge Centre on the Met Workplace. He stated: “Even though there’s nonetheless round per week left of February, it’s been a particularly dry month thus far, particularly within the south of England. 

“In brief, prime drive has been dominant over the United Kingdom, serving to to repel rain-bearing methods throughout a lot of the rustic, regardless that many have controlled to steer north-western spaces now and then.” 

Sam Larsen, Director of Programmes and Making plans at Water UK, stated: “Water ranges within the setting started to select up following final summer time’s drought prerequisites, however low rainfall this month approach a majority of UK rivers are under standard ranges for this time of 12 months, that means there’s much less water to be had for nature, agricultural abstraction, and public water provide. 

“It is still observed whether or not rainfall ranges will pick out up prior to summer time. This, along side the lasting affects of local weather exchange and inhabitants enlargement, approach it’s completely essential that all of us proceed to avoid wasting water and lend a hand safeguard in opposition to possible long term drought prerequisites. For hints and tips about easy methods to save water, cash and effort, discuss with www.watersworthsaving.org.united kingdom.” 

Map the the UK's rainfall from 1-20 February 2023 versus the average for the whole month. The map shows a much drier than average UK, especially in the south.
It’s been particularly dry within the south of England.

A converting local weather and herbal variability 

Local weather exchange projections display an expanding chance of warmer, drier summers and hotter, wetter winters, regardless that the herbal variation of rainfall patterns in the United Kingdom approach this gained’t be the case once a year. The month of February is itself a excellent indicator of the range of the United Kingdom local weather with the driest month for the United Kingdom in a chain again to 1884 being February 1932, when simply 9.5mm of rain fell. By contrast, February 2020 used to be the fourth wettest month on listing with 213.7mm of rain.  

Mark persisted: “A rainy Autumn final 12 months helped to get well one of the rainfall deficits constructed up in the course of the previous a part of 2022, however the iciness has observed two lengthy dry classes initially in early December after which from mid-January and thru February, interspersed with a extra particularly rainy and unsettled duration in overdue December and early January.  This displays the range of a UK iciness which is the most important attention when bearing in mind the demanding situations introduced via each momentary climate occasions and longer-term adjustments in our local weather.”

The figures sited on this weblog are provisional Met Workplace figures as much as 20 February 2023.



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