The Wettest Drought On Record: Torrential Rain Can’t Bring Much Of England Out Of ‘Exceptional’ Dry Conditions
Even with the wettest April on record, some areas of England are still facing “exceptional” drought conditions. After two years of dry winters — including the fifth-driest March — the ground hasn’t been able to soak up the heavy rainfall that hit in April.
The situation in the country illustrates the cruel reality of “rollercoaster” extreme weather — a problem that will only be exacerbated by accumulating heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Recent research also finds that the loss of Arctic ice favors extreme, prolonged weather events “such as drought, flooding, cold spells and heat waves.”
“Heavy rain on parched ground is like pouring water on an old, dry sponge. Much of it will bounce off. The sponge needs to be wet in order to hold the water. Farmers are in a much better position than they were thanks to the rains. River levels have risen, soil moisture has increased and their water reserves have been replenished. But aquifers take much longer to fill,” said a spokeswoman for England’s Environment Agency.