7 facts about the recent lack of rainfall in the islands

Credit: David Cheskin PA Archive/PA Images

With barely any rainfall in recent weeks, our weather presenter Sophia has been answering some key questions about why it has been such a dry start to the year...

1. It has been so dry! When was the last time we had some decent rainfall?

It has only been six weeks or so. December was a very dry month. It was Guernsey's driest on record, and Jersey's second driest with around a fifth of average rainfall being recorded on every island. In November all the islands had above average rainfall.

2. And what about January so far?

So far this January we have had just 10-12 mm on each island, when we could see (on average for the whole of January) approximately 95mm, so we are a little short at the moment!

3. Were rainfall quantities lower than normal for 2016, too?

The answer is - no - actually we had about average rainfall for the year.

4. Can we expect a soaking soon?

Current indications are we could have a further 5-15mm on Thursday, but not much before then. Showers are forecast, but they are very much "hit and miss".

5. So what about our islands reservoirs?

To have a reservoir under capacity at the start of the year is not unusual, but they are all a little below what we would like for this time of year. Water companies in Jersey and Guernsey are reminding islanders to use their water wisely - as they would in the summer months.

6. Are we using the desalination plants currently and what are they?

No, the desalination plants are not being used. Desalination is the name of the process that removes salt from sea water in order that it can be used for human consumption. The plant is a is very expensive to run, and typically would be used in the summer months when there is little or no rainfall and reservoir capacities are low. As it is winter (and a typically wet season) and our reservoirs still have a good supply of water, they have not been turned on, and it not something being considered at the moment.

7. How full are our reservoirs at the moment?

In Guernsey they are at approximately 79% and in Jersey 64% - both of which are considered healthy.