A few weeks ago we were being warned of drought conditions and that farmers were sufferering (wheat yields could be down 14%). The ever-vigilant Environment Agency (an Executive Non-departmental Public Body!) issued an official drought notice for East Anglia with other areas such as the Midlands, South East and South West being only days away from their own official status as drought-ridden. It was all over the news, on radio, on TV and in the newspapers. According to the official drought notice, it was the “driest spring on record in South East and Central Southern England, and the driest right across England since 1990“. How did they know that when the recent RAIN actually fell in Spring because Summer didn’t begin until two days ago on the 21st June? I remember someone on the radio invoking memories of the worst-ever drought conditions of 1976 (perhaps it was the BBC)… although they were quickly corrected by whoever they were talking to who said that the current drought-like conditions were a result of 3 months of low rainfall whereas the record-setting drought was a result of 18 months of low rainfall!
So what happened? Yes, the wettest week since last winter washed away all thoughts of drought in most parts of England and made for a soggy start to Wimbledon.
Perhaps the Environment Agency should invest in a few quality Oregon Scientific weather stations… and the Met Office could do with some too seeing as they no longer issue long-range weather forecasts due to the public not finding them useful (perhaps because they were so inaccurate)!