Hydrological Summary for March 2024 Published

March was an unsettled and mostly wet month, although there were drier interludes and marked spatial variations in rainfall. Similarly, it was mild overall (1.0°C above average for the UK as whole) but saw wintry periods, with early‑spring snowfall in places. Rainfall patterns echoed those of most months since mid-2023: exceptional rainfall totals in southern Britain contrasting with relatively dry conditions in northwest Scotland. Hence, following an exceptionally wet winter half year (October-March), March river flows were significantly above average for southern Britain and exceptionally high in many catchments, and flood alerts were widespread, although reported impacts were localised. Similarly, groundwater levels remained higher than normal for the time of year across most of the UK, with persistent groundwater flood alerts and warnings in place through March, particularly in the Wessex Chalk aquifers, where localised flooding was reported. Reservoir stocks were above average at the national scale, with many impoundments at or near capacity. Moderate deficits remain in a few reservoirs (e.g. Farmoor and Grafham) although stocks in these increased through March. Consequently, entering the summer half-year, the water resources position is very healthy across the UK, but flood risk remains elevated given above-normal flows and levels, and a wet start to April. The latest Outlook suggests normal to above-normal flows for the April-June period.

Read the Hydrological Summary