Wales on course for only a third of its average rainfall in August
Wales is on course for only a third of its average rainfall in August, the Met Office has said.
Despite the weather turning wetter this week a long, hot and dry start to the month means that the average rainfall has only been 34% of the average for the month.
That is below the 35% of average rainfall in England and 39% in Northern Ireland this August.
Forecasters warn there needs to be a period of above-average rainfall to ease the drought conditions that have been announced across the nations of the UK, including the south west of Wales and parts of England.
Despite torrential downpours in some places last week which caused flash flooding, the UK as a whole has had only 46% of the average total rainfall for August so far this month, the Met Office said.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We’ve definitely switched from the hot and dry regime to something that has rain in the forecast.
“There’s some heavy rain for the next 24 to 36 hours, providing some relief to gardeners more than helping to top up long term resources.”
While the forecast rain for this week will mean this month will “catch up a bit” with rainfall totals, he said: “It’s certainly going to be a dry August for the whole of the UK.”
And he said some areas had gone without any significant rainfall from the middle of June until last week.
“We’ve had below average rainfall for such a long time, it’s going to take a period of above average rain to make it up,” he warned.
Whether that period of above average rainfall is looming remains to be seen, with the Met Office set to bring out its seasonal forecast for the likely conditions over the next few months next week.
It is possible for the weather to turn around: the severely dry summer of 1976 was followed by rain that meant that rainfall levels had caught up with the average by the end of autumn.
But scientists warn that climate change is making weather extremes more likely, increasing heatwaves, droughts and heavy rain events that can lead to flash floods.
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