Hydrological Summary for March 2016 Published

March was a typically changeable spring month featuring interludes of heavy rainfall, gale-force winds, long settled spells and periodic snow over upland areas. The majority of rainfall was delivered in intense stormy episodes during the first and last weeks (including storm ‘Katie’ at Easter which caused disruption to transport and power networks), bookending a sustained period of dry weather mid-month. Although the UK registered near average rainfall in March, there was a distinct gradient in rainfall anomalies. Much of central, southern and eastern England bore the brunt of stormy conditions and received substantially above average rainfall, whereas Scotland, Northern Ireland and parts of Wales were relatively dry. Nevertheless, soils were saturated throughout the country as a result of the predominantly unsettled conditions of recent months. Reflecting the rainfall patterns in March, river flows were generally above normal in the English Lowlands and parts of northern England, and within the normal range elsewhere. Groundwater levels were generally near or slightly above average, except in northern England and southern Scotland where they remained notably or exceptionally high. Overall reservoir stocks for England & Wales were near average for the time of year. With reservoir stocks plentiful and groundwater levels in the normal range or higher towards the end of the recharge season, the water resources situation is healthy entering the summer half-year.

The full Hydrological Summary can be found here.