Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Weather Warning - England in drought! .... ?

     For the last few weeks we have heard on our news, weather etc. that the country is in drought and that it's a long term drought. One headline splashed that the drought could last till after Christmas (that is eight months away!)
     I guess that the drought situation is the reason that my garden is so very squishy wet underfoot. And the reason that we can't really cut the grass which has grown so long after so much rain. Oh yes, and the fact that we're in drought is probably because it's been raining and April-showering every day for a good number of weeks.
    It's because of the drought that I have to don wellies every time I take the dog for a walk down the lane, because the mud and lane-wide puddles are just not shoe friendly at all!
    And no doubt the fact that there's a drought explains why dear Bella-dog comes home wet, muddy and black after each walk.
    And the reason that there are wet raincoats dripping all over the house!
    And because of the drought, the tumble drier has been working overtime, because it rains everytime the washing should go out on the line!
    Of course, due to the drought there is a hose-pipe ban but it doesn't matter because the rain washes the car every day, and the garden is getting more than enough rain to grow the grass and waken the little seedlings! The rain-butt is full of water, which will obviously be useful for when it does maybe stop raining for a few weeks, but during this drought time it's getting topped up quite nicely.
    While at school today listening to Year 4's individual reading, I caught snatches of an announcement to the class about a colour code for outside dresscode during breaks - red means you have to put your wellies on, yellow means you have to have a raincoat on, green means you can't go outside (something like that!) - I guess that was because of the drought and the fact that the playground was quite wet and the playing fields quite muddy.
    And how interesting it is to hear from the weather people on our TV, that - remembering we're in drought - they are forecasting rain, 'again', they say, with a frustrated tone of voice and sad faces.
    Just to satisfy my curiosity I had to look up the definition of 'drought'. So a quick look on Google provides this: A prolonged period of abnormally low precipitation; a shortage of water resulting from this. So that's why the TV weather lady showed us the above average rainfall figures a few nights ago - it's all starting to make sense.
    The free dictionary.com describes drought as: A long period of abnormally low rainfall, lasting up to several years.  It's nice of them to define 'A long period' - several years?
    BBC Weather has this report for today:
Weather Warning
Tuesday 24th April
YELLOW warning for RAIN
A band of heavy rain will move north across southern parts of England and Wales during Tuesday night followed by heavy and locally thundery downpours through Wednesday. The rain will accompanied by strong winds.
There may be localised surface water flooding and driving conditions will be poor.

     Weather WARNING?  Warning for RAIN? Heavy RAIN? Downpours? Flooding?  Strange how that doesn't sound like 'drought' to me.
      Anglia Tonight have just announced that this is the Wettest April in 10 years - that explains it, it must be drought! We've apparantly had one third more rain than 'normal'.
    Of course Alan Titchmarsh puts a balance on the picture by saying that the 'rain is welcomed by farmers and gardeners'.
    So while toddlers make sandcastles on empty beaches wearing raingear and wellies, and while Spring tourists are punted down the river with their umbrellas up, the foreign police visitors - together with 99% of the UK population say: "I'm enjoying the rain not very much!"

(And if you write (London) on a Skype message you won't be surprised at what they actually see! )