November was a damp and dull month, the dullest November since 2004 for the UK.

Although November rainfall for the UK overall was near average, there were notable regional variations. Northern Ireland and southern and eastern areas of Great Britain were much wetter than average, whilst northern and western areas of Great Britain received below average rainfall. As a result river flows in Northern Ireland, eastern Scotland and responsive catchments of Lowland England were above average, whilst below average flows characterised north-western areas of Scotland, Wales and England

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 in conjunction with the British Geological Survey.

UK river flows November 2014

Temperatures were mild for the time of year, particularly during the first half of the month, contributing to mean January-November temperatures that rank 2014 as the warmest on record for the Central England Temperature series back to 1659.

November rainfall eradicated any remaining soil moisture deficits across the majority of the country, leading to the widespread commencement of groundwater recharge. Groundwater levels in all aquifers were average or above for the time of year. Reservoir stocks were generally near average with the exception of those drawn down for management purposes.

UK river flows November 2014: green and blue are in the normal range and above. Full key 


Summary author, Simon Parry from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Rainfall over the next three months will be influential in determining the water resources outlook for 2015, but the current situation in relation to groundwater levels and reservoir stocks remains healthy.”

The monthly summary is a look back at hydrological events occurring in November 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 November 2014 summary can be downloaded here.

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 and is updated monthly.

Additional information

Read the full November 2014 Hydrological Summary for the UK [PDF, 1.86mb]

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 river flows graphic:

Key for river flow graphic January 2014 hydrological summary for the UK

Key for riverflow graphic

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