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Cracked ground due to drought on UK farm
Photograph: Shutterstock

July has apparently been the driest on record in England since 1911

Just 24 percent of expected rainfall has arrived so far this month

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Over the past couple of weeks, a record-breaking heatwave has dominated UK weather chat. Everyone’s been distracted – and no one’s been able to think about anything else. For instance, did you notice that it’s barely rained? Well, it hasn’t. We know, shocking, right?

Not only has the UK not seen much rain but it’s actually been the driest July in England for more than a century. Just 24 percent of expected rainfall has arrived so far this month, making it the driest July since 1911.

While England isn’t currently in official drought status, authorities are reportedly already preparing to enact measures in August to minimise water wastage. The worry isn’t just that there hasn’t been much rain, but that there isn’t much forecast, either: the Met Office reckons the south and east of England will remain mostly dry for the next few weeks. 

In other words, lots of us could soon see the enforcement of some precautionary measures by water companies, from hosepipe bans to the temporary rerouting of rivers and other water sources.

On the brighter side, dry periods can also prove pretty interesting. Just last week, dry weather revealed the remains of a grand garden at a stately home in the Peak District, while droughts have also been known to unearth stuff like towns swallowed up by reservoirs.

In the meantime, the Environment Agency is tentatively urging people to be a bit more careful about their water usage. You can find some tips about saving water here.

ICYMI: the UK could be facing the ‘worst drought since 1976’ in August.

Plus: what will the British weather be like in 2050? We asked an expert.

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