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March was a changeable month: there were dry, sunny
spells and some spring warmth for most, but also wet, blustery
periods and wintry interludes in places. For the UK as a whole,
March was mild (the joint fifth warmest for the UK
in a record from 1910) and rainfall was near-average.
While some northern and western areas were significantly
wetter than average, south-east England was dry,
and also saw the warmest temperatures – it was the second warmest
March in a record from 1910 for the Southern and Anglian regions.
With significant rainfall since mid-February, river
flows in many upland catchments were above normal and, correspondingly,
the last two months have seen delayed
but welcome replenishment in most northern and western reservoirs.
Steep increases have returned stocks to near- or
above-average for the first time since the autumn in many impoundments,
and March stocks were near-average at
the national scale. However, stocks remained >10% below average
at Bewl and Roadford in southern England. In
south-east England, the modest winter half-year recharge is
evident in below-normal groundwater levels across much
of the Chalk outcrop. With early April also seeing
little rainfall in the English Lowlands, significant recovery is
unlikely before evapotranspiration rates climb steeply in late spring.
Low groundwater levels (and low flows in some
groundwater-fed rivers) may be expected to persist in parts of
south-east England and could lead to some localised
pressures on water resources later in the year.
More information is available in PDF
Hydrological Summary for the United Kingdom