June was a largely dry month, registering as the driest since 2006 for England, in contrast with many of the comparatively wet summer months witnessed in previous years, according to the latest update to the UK's most authoritative analysis of water resources status.River flows in June 2013

The analysis is contained in the latest monthly hydrological summary for the UK, covering the month of June 2013. 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.

Rainfall for Scotland and Wales was less than 75% of average and England received barely more than half of that expected in June. Above average rainfall was restricted to Northern Ireland and very localised pockets of Great Britain. River flows are generally below average across much of the country, although they predominantly fall within the normal range for the time of year.

Above average rainfall was restricted to Northern Ireland and very localised pockets of Great Britain. With the exception of these areas, there was a significant intensification of soil moisture deficits across the country; whilst this is not unusual for the time of year, it is markedly different to the erratic behaviour of soil moisture levels observed in previous years. Nevertheless, groundwater resources remain healthy, with most of the major aquifers characterised by moderately above average levels.

Rainfall deficits since the start of the year over most of Great Britain are reflected in moderate runoff deficiencies over the same timeframe in the responsive catchments of the north and west.

Summary lead author Simon Parry, from CEH, said, “With reservoir stocks and groundwater levels predominantly average to above average across the country, the water resources outlook remains healthy, although continued settled weather patterns over the coming months may cause locally depressed summer flows in responsive catchments, and the rapid increase in soil moisture deficits will likely delay the onset of river flow and groundwater recovery in the autumn."

A PDF of the full 12-page June 2013 summary can be downloaded here. [PDF 19.2MB]

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.

Additional information

Read the full June 2013 Hydrological Summary for the UK [PDF, 1.92MB]

Hydrological summary archive - dating back to December 1988

Details of the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme

Datasets hosted by CEH: National River Flow Archive, National Water Archive and others

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.

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