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July 2, 2010 / Dave Gorham

Britain Experiences Driest 6 Months in 80 Years

Yesterday I posted about the torrential rains and flooding in Romania, but it’s the complete opposite story for Britain right now. From January to June, the official figures from the UK Met Office indicate that the average rainfall across the country was 356.8 millimeters (14.04 inches). In Britain this is the driest start of a year since 1929, when 275.7 millimeters (10.8 inches) was recorded, and the second driest in 100 years.

Stock Ghyll Force, a 70-foot waterfall in Cumbria, at full flow in 2005. Image:

Stock Ghyll Force this week was reduced to just a trickle. Image:

On average in Britain, 511.7 millimeters (20.14 inches) is expected the first six months of the year. Unfortunately this year, they’ve seen a lack of Atlantic weather systems that bring rain to the area and therefore rainfall amounts have been below average. These dry conditions have put major pressure on water resources with some areas already facing bands on lawn and garden watering. Areas in northwestern England are now facing drought restrictions while reservoirs in Cumbria are only two-thirds full. The Royal Horticultural Society warned that gardens could be devastated because soil is already as dry as it normally is in August.

It’s interesting to note this isn’t the first time this year Britain has been in the weather headlines. The winter of 2009-2010 was the coldest winter Britain has seen in 30 years.


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