July 2023 Hydrological Summary Published

July was cool and unsettled, with heavy showers that caused some flash flooding. It was the third wettest July for the UK since 1939, and in Northern Ireland and some regions of England (North West, Yorkshire and Wessex) more than double the average rainfall was recorded. Correspondingly, river flows were widely above normal, with many notably or exceptionally high in the north of England and west of the UK. Soil moisture increased during July, ending the month close to saturation at COSMOS sites in the north and west, whilst restoring exceptionally dry soils to near‑normal in the south. Groundwater levels continued their seasonal recessions, except in the most responsive aquifers. Reservoir stocks increased relative to average during July, recovering deficits for England and Scotland (most notably at Daer, from 21% to 3% below average). However, deficits remained at some impoundments in Scotland, Wales and the south-west. The unsettled conditions have continued into August, and the Hydrological Outlook is for normal or above normal river flows and groundwater levels across much of the UK. However, where reservoir deficits remain, average or above average rainfall over the coming months will be needed to alleviate any concerns for the management of water resources into the early autumn.

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