‘Very little meaningful rain’ forecast for rising temperatures next week

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Forecasters are warning that “very little meaningful rain” is on the horizon for dry parts of England as temperatures climb into the 30s next week.

The Met Office said temperatures could rise into the low or mid 30s in parts of England by the end of next week due to an area of ​​high pressure building south and south-west from the Atlantic.

But the forecaster said that while it could mean another heat wave, temperatures were likely to remain well below last month’s record highs, with some places climbing above 40 degrees Celsius.

The ongoing dry season comes after months of meager rains that have left rivers at unprecedented levels, reservoirs depleted and soils parched, putting pressure on the environment, agriculture and water supplies. is falling, and fueling wildfires.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

It called for action to reduce water consumption to protect the environment and supplies, and to “massively” restore the country’s lost wetlands to combat a future of more dry summers and droughts. Is.

And it has emerged that Thames Water’s desalination plant in Becton, east London, which was built to provide 100 million liters of water a day in dry weather conditions, is currently out of service.

Steve Willington, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “Many areas of the UK, particularly in the south, will see temperatures several degrees above average, but these values ​​are below record-breaking mid-July temperatures. The temperature is likely to be considerably lower.

“As high pressure builds, very little meaningful rain is forecast, particularly in areas in the south of England, which experienced very dry conditions last month.”

He added that a weather front could bring some rain to parts of the north-west of the UK.

Rebecca Sharon, deputy chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said the warm weather was due to temperatures building within a long area of ​​high pressure – unlike last month’s record-breaking heatwave when warm air from Europe had already hit the UK. Increased in hot conditions. .

He added that the early August sun does not have the ability to warm the July sun.

We are unlikely to see temperatures above the mid-30s. However, it will still be a warm season.

“Both of these factors suggest that we are unlikely to see temperatures rise much above the mid-30s. However, it will still be a warm season,” he said.

The Meteorological Department said there are signs of a return to more changeable conditions from mid-August.

Parts of England have seen the driest July since 1976, the driest July on record since 1836, following the country’s eight driest months since November 2021.

Due to prolonged dry conditions, two water companies, South East Water and Southern Water, have announced hosepipe bans, which will take effect in the coming days.

Other firms have so far refrained from imposing restrictions despite low water levels, although some say they may need to implement restrictions if the dry season continues.

Households not yet affected by the restrictions are being asked to avoid using hosepipes to water the garden or clean the car.

But water companies have been criticized by nature campaigners for leaving it until the “last possible moment” to introduce restrictions, when rivers are in a “desperate” state, and for last-minute announcements. Which led to an increase in water demand before the ban on hosepipes. come in

Mark Lloyd, chief executive of The Rivers Trust, said: “Every year we reach this tipping point and at the last possible moment, when the rivers are at their lowest level, we have discussions about banning temporary use.

As our climate changes, and we experience periods of drought and drought, we must restore large-scale wetland habitats.

“Announcing it at the last minute causes people to wash their cars and fill their paddling pools, wash their dogs, and increase demand before the ban comes.

“This must be done before the rivers deteriorate and there is not enough water for wildlife.”

The Rivers Trust provides rapid metering, rapid leakage reduction, support for households to reduce water use, such as installation of low-flow toilets and water cisterns, and rain gardens, wetlands and local water reservoirs. is demanding water drainage including sustainable drainage for the construction of inside the ground.

Ali Morris, water policy manager at The Wildlife Trusts, said wetlands needed to be restored, 90 per cent of which had been lost over the past 100 years to development, drainage for agriculture and over-extraction by water companies. have been lost due to

He said: “As our climate changes, and we experience more dry spells and periods of drought, we must restore large-scale wetland habitats.

“This will help retain water in the landscape when it is scarce, divert river flows upstream and provide a much-needed boost to wildlife.

“These same wetlands also hold back water during high flows, which benefits people by reducing downstream flood risks.”

Ms Morris added that wild beavers “can help do a lot of things for us”.

Conservationists support return of beavers to help restore wetlands (Ben Birchall/PA) / PA Archive

“They change the habitats we so desperately need by damming streams, cutting down trees and, ultimately, creating wetlands.

“It is critical that the government clears the way for the return of wild beavers by providing assurances and incentives to farmers to allow these ecosystem engineers to work.”

Beavers, once widespread in Britain, were driven to extinction by the 16th century for their meat, fur and glands, but are making a comeback and are now dammed along many rivers. Found wild in places.

Professor Alastair Driver, director of Rewilding Britain, said projects that restore natural hydrological processes, through measures ranging from blocking upland drains to reintroducing beavers, can increase river flows. Can stabilize and retain water in the soil.

Restoring wetlands and wetlands can also reduce the risk of wildfires or forest fires, improve water quality, and shade streams through more trees. Water temperature and evaporation can be reduced by doing this.

“All of these things point to potentially significant benefits in extreme weather conditions, whether it’s floods or droughts,” he said.