A third drought since March 2020

Consecutive Dry Days 12 August 2020

There are so many weather and climate stories doing the rounds at the moment in the UK, let alone across the world, that this one about a drought escaped my attention until now. The drought which has occurred at a number of stations in the southeast of England, parts of Lincolnshire and East Anglia has now made it to the magic 15 days which makes it an absolute drought. I very much doubt that it will extend much longer than this but I thought I would take a look because it’s the second or even third drought of the year in these areas, which is quite unusual, unusual enough for Sarah Keith-Lucas to add it to her weather forecast headlines this morning. Here’s an example of three distinct dry spells that have occurred since the beginning of March at Rothamsted in Hertfordshire.

1 March – 12 August 2020

Here’s a reminder of the drought definition which seems to have fallen into disfavor in recent years by many so called experts.

Drought: Dryness due to lack of RAINFALL. Certain definitions have been adopted in
order to obtain comparable statistical information on the subject of droughts.
Thus an ‘absolute drought’ is a period of at least 15 consecutive days, to none of
which is credited 0.01 in., or 0.2 mm, or more of rainfall. A ‘partial drought’ is a
period of at least 29 consecutive days, the mean daily rainfall of which does not
exceed 0.01 in., or 0.2 mm. A ‘dry spell’ is a period of at least 15 consecutive days
to none of which is credited 0.4 in., or 1.0 mm or more of rainfall. During the
62 years 1858-1919, there were 69 absolute droughts and 163 dry spells at Camden
Square, London. The definitions of absolute drought and partial drought were
introduced in British Rainfall (1887) while that of dry spell was first used in
British Rainfall (1919).

Meteorological Glossary 1963
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