Spring 2021 – Drought in the southeast

With all the excitement of the snow we’ve had in the last week up here in Ross-shire I hadn’t realised just how dry it had been in the southeast recently until I saw some chatter about it in weather forum and on Twitter. This data is what I collect from SYNOPs for most stations I have 100% reception but a few are not complete. I also depend on the rain gauge of the AWS to be working sometimes it isn’t. That’s why I suspect that there’s recent missing data from both Leuchars and Wittering. Having said that there does look to be seven stations where there have been fifteen consecutive dry days (less than <0.2mm) and an absolute drought is in place.

After a wet January things have turned much drier across the southeast, as this hyetograph from Heathrow airport shows, with rainfall in the last 14 weeks returning close to the LTA.

Having said all that the drought might not last the day out if the showers in the radar have made it to the ground.

Estimated accumulations from weather radar

15 thoughts on “Spring 2021 – Drought in the southeast”

  1. Here in High Wycombe the ground is very hard. Where I live we have missed the showers today and very little rain yesterday. Together with low max, frost and little rain the grass is hardly growing. Not very good for the farmers in this area.

  2. Good that my rain gauge agrees with the official ones around Surrey and London. Still no showers to speak of here – at 5.45BST 11/04, that is. As usual, it struggles to rain here after a long dry spell. Julian

  3. “with the excitement of the snow we’ve had in the last week”
    That’s the trouble with you Chionomaniacs, just a one track mind !!!

  4. Chris britton

    The Manston rainfall is incorrect as no rainfall equivalent to the snow was recorded in Feb I believe?

  5. Don’t why you find so few consecutive dry days for Plymouth Mt Batten. Here in nearby Wembury had 10 consecutive dry days in March 15th to 24th, nad another 10 consecutive dry days 28 Mar to 6 Apr.

    1. As far as I can see Plymouth reported 0.2 mm on both the 6th & 7th April and broke a run of ten consecutive rainless days there. The definition reads:-
      “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.”

    2. Yes, but I do not understand your middle map which shows Plymouth as having only 3 consecutive dry days between 1st Jan and 11th Apr. As I say, they have had 2 periods of consecutive 10 day dry periods. How do I interpret your map?

      1. It’s obvious enough. The first shows the number of dry days since the start of the year. The second the latest number of consecutive dry days as of the 11th of April. The third my estimate of the percentage anomaly of rainfall from the start of the year compared with the LTA. In hindsight I could title the second one more clearly and not use a range of dates in the title.

        1. Obviously obvious to you Bruce. But concerning the middle map, do you mean there has been only 3 consecutive dry days at Plymoth Mt Batten between 1st Jan and 11 Apr 2021?
          Looking at Ogimet there was 0.4 mm on 7th Apr and then just ‘traces’ back to 27th March. So yes, 3 or 4 days. The period 1st Jan to 11th Apr seems irrelevant. BTW the maps either side are quite understandable. 🙂

          1. Hi Len
            No the ‘drought map’ in the middle show the latest situation i.e. the current count of dry days at the time I created the chart.
            I’ve just posted another blog with a map in which I’ve adjusted the title.

  6. Yes, understood now you have got rid of the puzzling 1st Jan to 11 Apr in the legend.
    Sorry about my nom de plume. I like to be anoymous sometimes.

    1. It’s quite alright Len. It’s just a shame I can’t convince any other of the old stalwarts to subscribe.
      I run the village website (also using WordPress) up here for the Community Council, and notice that there seems to be a built in resistance to handing over your email when you subscribe that puts many people off.

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