Droughts during 2018/2019 in the UK

Image by Josep Monter Martinez from Pixabay

A new paper on the 2018/2019 drought in the United Kingdom has been published in the Royal Meteorological Society’s journal Weather

The hot summer of 2018 may be memorable for many and, as well as this period, the paper highlights the perhaps less widespread recognition of a longer period of dry conditions leading up to this heatwave, and a similarly protracted dry spell extending into late 2019 in some parts of the United Kingdom.

Read the open access paper

The paper documents the events in terms of their meteorological and hydrological nature, and assesses the varied impacts droughts had across the UK and touches on how the droughts in 2018/2019 compare with previous episodes.

Figure from the paper showing (a) Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI-1) for June 2018. Black areas indicate SPI less than -4.0. (b) Mean river flows June–July 2018.

The paper was supported by the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme which is operated jointly by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the British Geological Survey and the UKRI Drought and Water Scarcity Programme, via the ‘Historic Droughts’ project.