After the first week, June was a month dominated by unsettled conditions with localised thundery showers bringing substantial rainfall. For the UK as a whole, rainfall was above average but particularly so in parts of south-east England, the Midlands and eastern Scotland. Below average rainfall was mainly confined to western Scotland.
In response to the wet June, soil moisture deficits decreased and were below average in the vast majority of regions in the UK - June deficits were the second lowest (behind 2012) for the Chalk outcrop in a series from 1961.
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.
The summary shows that average river flows for June were generally in the normal range or above, with below normal flows confined to some north-western catchments. Flows were notably high, and in some catchments exceptionally so, across much of the English Lowlands and in parts of north-east Scotland. Groundwater levels followed their seasonal recessions at almost all index sites, but generally remained in the normal range or above.
Summary author, Katie Muchan of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, "Despite the above average rainfall, stocks in the majority of reservoirs fell during June with large decreases in some western impoundments. However for England and Wales overall reservoir stocks remain slightly above average. With normal to above normal groundwater levels across the main aquifers and healthy reservoirs stocks, the water resources outlook for the rest of the summer remains healthy."
The monthly summary is a look back at hydrological events occurring in June 2016. 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).
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 normally 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. The latest Outlook can be viewed here.