Sunday, May 21, 2006

The wettest drought ever?

See for background info.

As one who vividly remembers the Great Drought of 1976 I thought I detected symptoms of something similar this year.

I remember that January and February as being very dry. On January 6th Chew Valley Lake (the biggest reservoir to our then home in Keynsham) was down to levels more appropriate to August. One could even see the old bridge in the village which had flooded when the River Chew was dammed to create the lake reservoir. This followed on a hot, dry summer in 1975.

January and February were very dry here this year and hosepipe bans were introduced in April. A repeat of '76 was threatened (or promised - depending on one's point of view).

Here the similarities have ended abruptly. By this stage in 1976 we were experiencing a heatwave which lasted until the end of August. As I write this on 21st May the wind is howling outside, it is cold for the time of year and it is raining heavily for the 5th day in succession, we lost an ash tree to the storm at the side of our house on Friday and the Kingston Guardian wanted to talk to me that same day about flooding in Browns Road. Some drought!!

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