UK Hydrological Summary for February 2024 Published

February was mild and wet, notably and unchangeably so in the south, whilst the north saw a cold spell mid-month. It was the warmest February on record for both England and Wales (in series from 1890), and the second warmest in the long Central England temperature series (of 365 years). Rainfall was at least twice the February average across central and southern England and more than three times around the Wash. River flows were average in the north, and above average in the south, with sustained incursions into the maximum daily flow envelope on some baseflow-dominated rivers. Soils were saturated across most of the UK, and groundwater levels were widely notably or exceptionally high. Reservoir stocks were healthy at the national scale (at least 95 percent of capacity for Scotland, Northern Ireland and England & Wales), although deficits remained at some impoundments (Grafham, Celyn & Brenig and Daer) and developed at Farmoor. The outlook for the spring months (March-May) is for normal to above normal river flows and, in places, notably or exceptionally high groundwater levels. With reservoir stocks close to capacity, there is little concern for water resources, but where rainfall at the start of March has kept soils very wet, the elevated risk of flooding will continue until soils begin to dry out.

Read the Hydrological Summary