Drought-hit areas of the UK were hit by 48 hours of torrential downpours at the weekend but Brits still face the prospect of a summer hosepipe ban.
The heavens opened giving 25.4mm in Houghton Hall, Norfolk, 22.8mm in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire and 21.6mm in Norwich – places officially declared in drought.
Met Office forecaster Dan Williams told Yahoo! News that it was a marked amount of rain considering the February total for Norwich was 11.6mm.
He said: “Rainfall levels have been well below average and the figures give you an idea of how dry it has been.”
But the South East of England and the whole of the Anglian region will need a lot more rain in the coming weeks to replenish water supplies and ease the effects of drought, according to the NFU (National Farmers Union).
[Related article: It's official! South East in state of drought]
The NFU said: “It is now virtually inevitable that a significant degree of drought stress will be experienced in 2012, although the magnitude of problems and the geographical extent will be heavily influenced by what rain falls over the next eight to ten weeks.”
While farmers welcomed the torrential downpour, Brits faced a wash-out weekend as plunging temperatures, wintry showers and strong gales blew across the country – a miserable end to the recent unseasonably mild spell.A Thames Water worker walks where the river Kennet usually flows near Lockeridge, Wiltshire. Photo credit: PA
She said: “Unless we have significant rainfall over the next couple of months, we are going to be facing very dry conditions with an impact on farming again, and on horticulture, but also quite probably the public water supply,”
Forecasters predict that there will be more showers to come for the South East before dying out on Monday night.