Spring 2011 United Kingdom heat wave

The Spring of 2011 in the United Kingdom was exceptional for the warm weather which occurred during April and the dry weather which was persistent during March and April in certain parts of the UK. April was statistically the warmest and driest in the country since records began in 1910.[1] There was a contrast between north-western parts of the UK which received substantial amounts of rainfall and south-eastern parts which received very little. As lack of rainfall continued in many parts during May, concerns arose that the country could submit to drought.

High pressure was the cause for the warm, dry weather experienced during April.[1] A high temperature of 27.8°C was recorded on 23 April at Wisley, Surrey, the highest temperature recorded in April in the UK since 1949. Thus, the Central England Temperature for the month was 3.7°C above the 1971-2000 average, and daily maximum temperatures were up to 6°C higher than average.


Only 78 mm of rainfall fell in total over England from March to May, and some Eastern parts received only 20 mm. The lack of rainfall throughout the season in many parts caused flowing in rivers across England and Wales to become very low. The dry conditions had an adverse effect on wildlife and for water companies. Farming was also affected, with yield from arable crops at risk and increased cost of animal feed for livestock farmers. The dry weather also caused parched ground, and strong winds caused forest and moorland fires.[2] However, rainfall in early May helped to regain control over these issues. In June 2011, the East Midlands and East Anglia were declared to be suffering from drought conditions. As a result, restrictions were enforced on the extraction of water from rivers for irrigation purposes.[3] However, substantial rainfall fell in these areas for the rest of the month, which helped to ease the situation.

See also


  1. 1 2 "2011 is UK's second warmest year on record - Met Office". BBC. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  2. Forest fires: Wind and sun causing havoc. BBC News. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  3. Parts of England officially facing drought conditions. BBC News. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
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