March 2023 Hydrological Summary Published

The start of March was settled, continuing the dry conditions established in February. This was followed by notably wet conditions across much of England and Wales. Rainfall anomalies were greatest in the south of England, with up to three times the average in places. River flows responded correspondingly from well below average at the start of the month, and for March as a whole were above normal to exceptionally high in the south and west. Soils wetted across the country through March, and soil moisture deficits were eliminated in almost all regions despite the drier than average February.  The early onset groundwater level recessions seen in many sites last month ended, and recharge was observed in the more responsive aquifers. Levels were predominantly in the normal range across the UK by month-end. Reservoir stocks for England & Wales were near average for March, with most stocks marginally above average. Although stocks at Colliford and Roadford remained substantially below average, they increased relative to average. With above average rainfall continuing into early April, and a late pulse in winter recharge expected, the outlook is for river flows and groundwater levels to be in the normal range or above normal across much of the UK over the coming months. However, long-term rainfall deficits remain in East Anglia, meaning that as the recharge season draws to a close vigilance may be needed as we head into the spring and summer. 

Read the Hydrological Summary