The month of August was cool (the first month of below-average temperatures since November 2013), unsettled and wet – bringing to a close a near-average summer overall. Several frontal systems – including the remnants of a hurricane – brought strong winds and heavy rainfall to many areas, with northern and eastern Scotland and parts of eastern England being particularly wet for the time of year.

The assessment is contained in the latest monthly hydrological summary for the UK, the most authoritative analysis of water resources status in the country. The monthly summaries are produced by the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme, operated by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in conjunction with the British Geological Survey.

The wet weather reversed the typical summer trend of increasing soil moisture deficits. Persistent heavy rainfall in northern Scotland caused numerous landslides and significant fluvial flooding (with notable peak flows established in parts of the region), bringing transport disruption and property damage. Elsewhere, there were incidents of flash flooding in response to intense downpours.August 2014 groundwater map.

Groundwater levels remain in the normal range or above, and were exceptionally high in some slowly-responding aquifers. Reservoir stocks were above-average for the time of year in the majority of reservoirs.

Summary author, Jamie Hannaford from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) said, “August was a cool, wet and unsettled month bringing to a close a near-average summer overall. Overall, the water resources situation is favourable entering the autumn.”

The monthly summary is a look back at hydrological events occurring in August 2014. Latest information on flood warnings is provided by the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (flood warnings for Northern Ireland are not available).

A PDF of the full 12-page August 2014 summary can be downloaded here. [PDF 2MB]

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology jointly operates the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (for the UK) in conjunction with the British Geological Survey. NHMP scientists produce the UK Monthly Hydrological Summary which assesses rainfall, river flows, groundwater and reservoir levels. They also operate the UK’s National River Flow archive. The NHMP also has a remit to analyse major flood and drought events in the UK and analyse long term trends in UK hydrological data. The UK Monthly Hydrological Summary is published on, or before, the tenth working day, of the following month. A Hydrological Outlook for the UK is also available.

Additional information

Read the full August 2014 Hydrological Summary for the UK [PDF, 2MB]

Hydrological summary archive - dating back to December 1988

Details of the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme

Latest Hydrological Outlook for the UK

National River Flow Archive

Media enquiries related to the Hydrological Summaries should be directed to the CEH Press Office. Our scientists can provide explanation and analysis of historic hydrological patterns, possible future scenarios under climate change and scientific understanding of the current situation. We are not able to comment on immediate operational issues.

If you wish to reproduce figures from the Monthly Hydrological Summary please respect the copyright credits contained within the document.

Key for riverflow graphic


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