You probably don’t need to be told this, but May 2012 is ontrack to become the coldest for over three hundred years.
It comes “hot” on the tail of the wettest April in a century and the driest March for more than fifty years. And let’s not forget that 20 million people are still banned from using their hosepipes!
So what is going on? That’s the question asked by Jonathan Maitland in the latest episode of ITV1’s Tonight show “The Great British Weather” on ITV1's Tonight at 7.30pm.
The extreme rainfall certainly knocked Taunton Deane Cricket Club for six.
The Dorset club had just prepared the wicket for the new season when the whole ground was engulfed in two feet of flood water at the start of the month.
Groundsman Mike Priestley saw all his hard work disappearunder the ripples:
Rural Oxfordshire suffered extreme weather of a completely different kind little more than a week ago - a tornado and a torrential storm of hail as big as marbles.
Terese Pimm from South Leigh near Whitney was astonished by the storm:
There are about thirty reported tornados in the UK each year.
They’re examples of the sort of extreme weather that the Environment Agency believes we could see much more of in the future.
It’s produced a report on how global warming could change our forecasts by 2050.
The agency’s head of water resources, Trevor Bishop, explained:
So the agency is now planning to tackle longer droughts by pumping water resources around the country, by encouraging water companies to tackle leaks, and by asking all of us to use it much more efficiently.
And they’re building future flooding defences with global warming a high priority so we’re ready for more heavy rain.
The Badminton Horse Trials is another victim.
As the sporting calendar suffered a series of washouts, this highlight of the equine sporting calendar also had to be cancelled. Organisers of the three-day event at the start of May had no choice after car park and jumps were swamped.
Event director Hugh Thomas explained that the weather wipedout a fortune in business:
But while too much water is our most immediate problem, Britain still has an underlying drought.
A hosepipe ban in the south east is unlikely to be lifted this year, following two dry winters that have left ground water levels at worryingly low levels. And it will take much more rain to resolve that problem.
If you’d like to get in touch with the programme, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are organisations that can help if you have flooding problems:
National Flood Forum http://www.floodforum.org.uk/ or call 01299 403055
Know Your Flood Risk http://www.knowyourfloodrisk.co.uk/
Environment Agency http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/