Submitted by Katie Muchan on
February began with wintry, unsettled conditions which gave way to a milder period albeit still with frequent rainfall. The UK’s coldest temperature (-23°C) since 1995 was recorded in Braemar (Aberdeenshire) on the 11th. Rainfall totals were again above average for much of the UK (for the third consecutive month), particularly so in central and southern Scotland, northern England, south Wales and eastern Northern Ireland. River flows for February were generally above normal across the majority of England and Wales, notably or exceptionally so in south Wales and eastern England, with new February maxima established along the eastern coast. For the winter (December-February) notable records were also set in northern and eastern England. Soil moisture deficits remained negligible across the country (as expected for the time of year), and groundwater levels remained above normal or notably high in most index boreholes, with exceptionally high levels across much of northern England. Reservoir levels continued to increase in most impoundments and stocks were above average at the national scale. In the short-term, with saturated catchments the flood risk remains high, however with below average rainfall forecast for the spring and receding river flows evident in early March, the risk is likely to subside over the coming months.