Figures released by the Met Office today show that South-east and
* the driest November 2004-January 2006 in over 80 years, with just
724mm of rain;
* the 2nd driest November 2004-January 2006 on record1;
* 13 of the last 15 months have recorded below the 1961-1990
long-term average, having only 72% of the average which is 1001mm.
According to the Met Office's long-range forecasting expert Dr
Richard Graham, the outlook for the next few months is uncertain.
'There are significant uncertainties in seasonal prediction, however,
in terms of rainfall, it looks as though it could be drier than
normal in the north. But there are equal probabilities of dry, normal
or wet weather for the south of the country.'
The Met Office works closely with Environment Agency and water
companies to monitor levels of rainfall. Met Office information has
been used as part of the Environment Agency's 2006 Drought Prospects
1. The rainfall series goes back to 1914.
2. The Drought Report is available at
3. Regularly updated data on the dry spell can be found at
4. In hydrological terms the 'water year' runs from October to
September; with September being the time when ground water levels are
expected to be at their lowest. The period from October to the end of
April is the time when water levels are expected to 'recharge'. A dry
winter period is more critical than a dry summer period.