Hydrological Summary for May 2024 Published

May was often changeable with sunshine, showers, and thunderstorms, although there was an interlude of more settled conditions during the first half of the month, and widespread notable rainfall in the second half. The UK experienced its warmest May on record, in a series going back to 1884, owing to high overnight temperatures and cloud cover, rather than notable maximum daytime temperatures. River flows in May remained high across much of the UK, with many rivers in England and southern Scotland recording notably and exceptionally high flows. Conversely, in Wales and Northern Ireland flows were mostly normal, and in northern Scotland they were normal or below, exceptionally so in some cases. Groundwater levels remained very high across the UK, with levels above normal at all but three index sites, exceptionally high at 13 sites, and setting new maximum May records at seven sites. However, levels fell over most locations as the seasonal recession continued across most aquifers. Surface water resources remained in a healthy position with above average reservoir stocks at the national scale. The UK Hydrological Outlook for June to August suggests a continuation of normal and above normal flows and groundwater levels across the country, further strengthening the water resources position as we move into summer.

Read the Hydrological Summary.