Anorak News | Daily Telegraph Says Glorious Sun’s Been Ruined By Wrong-Kind Of Rain: UK Drought Update

Daily Telegraph Says Glorious Sun’s Been Ruined By Wrong-Kind Of Rain: UK Drought Update

by | 13th, June 2011

SEE all that rain. The Telegraph’s Peter Hutchison writes under the news:

After weeks of bone-dry conditions Britain’s gardeners and farmers were begging for rain. Yesterday it began coming down in bucket loads – but in entirely the wrong places.

Weeks of bone-dry conditions? The BBC’s weather bureaus tells us:

Whilst a stream of moisture-laden southwesterlies brought above average rainfall to Scotland and Northern Ireland through May, England and Wales were below par, not for the first time this year. This monthly outlook will do nothing to assuage the sense of grievance in all parts. Spring rainfall totals in parts of eastern England have fallen short of those recorded in 1976 and cereal farmers are already looking at a 10% reduction in yields. If there is no significant rain soon, 25-30% could be nearer the mark. Crop failure for some is a real possibility.

By contrast, parts of Scotland have recorded in excess of 460mm of rain in an exceptionally wet May: 150 times the rainfall of Kent and some three times above seasonal expectations.

Of course, what with this being the BBC, the news comes with opinion laced between the facts:

Monday 20 June 2011 to Sunday 3 July 2011

Continuation of the northwest/southeast split – There are indications that the northwest/southeast split will continue into the early part of July.Sunniest and driest spells of weather wil [sic] again dominate in southern and eastern England whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland will be both cooler and wetter. Is it any comfort in these areas that rainfall should only be ‘average’?

Yeah, only average. Panic time, readers.

What does Hutchison have to say about all those weeks of drought? And this is the same Hutchison who told his readers back in May:

Britons may have basked in glorious sunshine over Easter, the royal wedding weekend and the early May bank holiday, but the good fortune is about to come to an end. The weekend is set to be a washout, with heavy showers, thick cloud and high winds expected in much of the country.

Damn that rain that ruins our “good fortune”.

Back to today’s missive:

The Environment Agency confirmed last week that Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and western Norfolk are now officially experiencing drought.

Yesterday’s sudden downpour – which came days after the Government encouraged water rationing to prevent a full-blow crisis – brought back memories of the hot summer of 1976, when the skies opened shortly after the government appointed a “Minister of Drought”, a position taken by Denis Howell.

Some experts have predicted that this year’s drought could be worse than 1976. Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, has announced measures to reduce the use of water including suggesting people take showers rather than baths.

Does Spelman rehearse saying scary things about the environment? The Mail says:

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman was quick to blame the shortage of water on the ‘big challenge of climate change’.

What say the farmers of this crisis?

Jenny Bashford, the National Farmers’ Union water policy adviser, said: “Farmers and growers face an anxious wait to see how the situation develops but they are resilient and well versed in dealing with the vagaries of the weather.”

So. No crisis. No panic. And average rain…

Image: Revellers at the Isle of White festival enjoy the drought

Posted: 13th, June 2011 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink