Wales moved to ‘normal’ status following third wettest July in over a century
Wales has shifted to ‘normal’ status following the third wettest July in over a century, according to recent data.
The country’s natural environment has seen significant improvements due to the recent rainfall and cooler temperatures, allowing Wales to move from prolonged dry weather to normal status concerning drought.
The term ‘normal status’ indicates that the majority of hydrological and environmental indicators are within expected ranges for this time of year.
There are no immediate concerns for water supply, environment, land, or agriculture in respect to prolonged dry weather or drought.
Despite a dry start to July, Wales received 208% of its long-term average (LTA) rainfall for the month, following one of the driest May-June periods on record.
This resulted in the third wettest July in over 100 years, with only 2012 and 1998 being wetter.
The July rainfall has led to the majority of river flows being sustained within normal to exceptionally high flow ranges, with an increase in soil moisture and reservoirs refilling.
However, some groundwater levels remain below normal levels locally, such as the Clwyd catchment, as it takes time for aquifers to react to recent rainfall.
While the situation has improved, the prolonged dry and hot period experienced in May and June means that some localised environmental issues could remain.
The long-term impact of those warmer conditions on habitats, species, and sectors like agriculture are yet to be fully realised.
The outlook for August remains unsettled, with further low-pressure systems bringing spells of rain, showers, and strong winds from the West.
Heavy thunderstorms are possible at times throughout the month.
Natural Resources Wales (NRW) continues to urge people and businesses to use water wisely every day and to take care when visiting the outdoors.
They will be stepping down their response in line with their drought plan but will continue to monitor the situation closely.
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