Hydrological Summary for January 2020 Published

January was generally a mild month, punctuated by wintery and windy weather in the middle and end of the month, including storm ‘Brendan’ on the 13th. It was the sixth warmest January for the UK since 1884, with much of the country recording temperatures more than 1.5o C above average. Although rainfall for the UK was near average overall, it was below average across most of the country with the exception of western Scotland and parts of central and eastern England where it was above average. River flows were generally in the normal range, with some catchments in western Scotland, and southern and eastern England registering above normal to notably high flows, whilst in eastern Scotland and Northern Ireland flows were below normal to notably low. Soils were generally wetter than average, with the exception of regions in eastern England and Scotland where soils remained drier than average. Groundwater levels were normal to notably high in most boreholes; levels fell in almost half of the boreholes, while others rose in a delayed response to the late 2019 rainfall. Reservoir stocks for England & Wales were healthy, with stocks in almost all reservoirs above average despite a decrease in stocks relative to average. As such, the outlook for water resources is healthy. However, storms in early February have caused significant flooding in northern England and forecasts for further unsettled weather and saturated soils means there is an enhanced risk of flooding.

Read the full Hydrological Summary