Spring has come early to most of the U.K., but the traditional April showers have not materialized. The Environment Agency warns that a combination of unseasonably warm weather and significant lack of rainfall may lead to drought conditions later this summer and a ban on the use of hosepipes in some areas. However, they say that water tables are in good shape due to a fairly wet winter, and a severe drought is not expected at this time.
According to Terry Marsh of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, it is difficult to predict what conditions may develop, but the fact is that river levels are low, some even lower than in 1976. At least 21 rivers across the country are at significantly lower levels than usual, with the driest conditions in Central England and the south-west.
The past month set a record with temperatures reaching 27.8C or 82F, the hottest April in 350 years.
In addition, rainfall on average was only about one third of the ‘normal’ average in England and Wales.
Officials say it’s too early to start anticipating water shortages and bans on use, but unless the next few weeks see a substantial increase in rainfall averages, the possibility certainly exists.