NASA images from space show just how dry East Anglia is after heatwave that sparked wildfires

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

As one of the driest summers on record continues, pictures from NASA have revealed the true impact the lack of rain is having on the country.

The East of England has seen just 3mm of rain in July - just 7% of the typical rainfall which would be expected in the region during the month so far.

A normal July would see 56mm of rain fall, say forecasters.

In fact the first six months of 2022 in East Anglia has been the driest for more than a quarter of a century - since 1996. 

This satellite image was taken in July 2021, dramatically highlighting the difference.

The driest July ever in the region was in 1955. If there is no more rain this week, 2022 will be the driest ever on record.

Temperatures in the East of England topped 40C during the heatwave, peaking on 19 July, and fire crews have since been battling dozens of wildfires as the hot weather left the countryside tinder-dry.

Despite this, water companies in the East have moved to reassure customers that they are not yet at the point of declaring drought conditions or imposing hosepipe bans.

Essex and Suffolk Water said it did not anticipate restrictions but was encouraging customers to cut consumption.

Regan Harris from Anglian Water told ITV News Anglia that its reservoirs were 80% full and the company was not proposing any restrictions, but also repeated the call for people to use water wisely.

"We are really really good at planning for dry summers in the East," said Ms Harris.

"We are the driest region in the UK, we get a third less rainfall compared to anywhere else so it's our job to be prepared for dry summers.

"What we really rely on is a wet winter to top everything up."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know