Submitted by Steve Turner on
November was another cool and wet autumnal month, with multiple frontal systems bringing persistent and heavy rain to England & Wales. With the exception of north-western Britain (and notably western Scotland), rainfall was above average and exceptionally so across central England. November brings to an end a wet autumn; it was the fifth wettest in the long England and Wales Precipitation series (from 1766). The unsettled weather led to exceptional flow responses in central England, with a major flood event in parts of Yorkshire at the end of the first week. Elsewhere, flows were above normal, apart from in north-western Britain. Soil Moisture Deficits were near-zero across the UK and correspondingly groundwater recharge occurred at most sites, leading to above normal levels (or higher). The wet weather continued to increase reservoir stocks, notably so in some impoundments in southern England, and at the national scale stocks were above average. As a result of the wet summer and autumn the water resources outlook is healthy at the national scale, although in the eastern Chalk groundwater levels remain below normal entering the winter – rainfall over the coming months will determine the longer-term outlook in this area. However, the saturated soils and seasonal outlook for continued wet weather implies that there is a continued risk of flooding over the coming months in many parts of the UK.