Look what has happened to our green and pleasant land: the heat wave leaves the reservoirs almost empty, the parks scorched and the gardens withered
- Britain’s pleasant green land has turned BROWN as heatwaves bite
- In the next few days, tropical weather will bring sweltering heat reaching around 29°C
- The desolate landscape may see little change until October, with the Met Office predicting a sizzle three months in advance
The pleasant green land of Britain looked like a distant memory yesterday, with nearly empty reservoirs, scorched parks and parched gardens.
Princess Anne may have thought she had seen it all in her seven decades, but she looked a little taken aback by the arid scenes yesterday when she visited The Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire.
And the desolate landscape may see little change until October, with the Met Office predicting a sizzle three months in advance.
In the coming days, tropical weather will bring sweltering heat reaching around 29°C (84°F), while large parts of the country will be battered by heavy but short-lived downpours from the Atlantic. Forecasters have warned that the south and east in particular will be hot and humid.
Temperatures will rise from Monday once the thunderstorms end.
Princess Anne may have thought she had seen it all in her seven decades, but she looked a little taken aback by the arid scenes yesterday when she visited The Game Fair at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
Looking rough: The fairways at Ely Golf Club were parched yesterday, although the greens look like desert oases
Hampshire: a ruined landscape (pictured: general view of Odiham Castle and the dry ground around it
About 1 to 1.5 inches (30 to 40 mm) of rain could fall Monday and Tuesday in northern, central and western regions, but ‘nothing too disruptive’ and ‘helpful for farmers and gardeners “said Met Office forecaster Tom Morgan. “Many areas will be very hot and humid with lots of clouds around.”
He added. “Temperatures will reach 20°C (68°F) in the early morning, which means uncomfortable evenings for sleeping are in store.
“The eerie rumble of thunder can be heard in remote areas, and it will be quite muggy and humid – typical of conditions seen in tropical countries.
The first garden hose ban, announced by Southern Water on Friday for one million homes in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, is expected to be followed by fresh calls to limit water use.
A further 17 million people face restrictions, with other providers including Thames Water, South East Water and Welsh Water warning they may need to act.
South Wales: How dry is my valley? (Picture: Llwyn Onn Reservoir, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales)
Water levels in Welsh Water’s Llwyn Onn Reservoir at Merthyr Tydfil, – serving Cardiff – remained extremely low yesterday.
At Ely Golf Club in Cambridgeshire, the well-watered greens contrasted sharply with the brown grass.
Across the country, village cricketers played on rock-hard pitches, risking cuts if they dived for catches. Deryn Fowler, 26, who plays for Blunham in Bedfordshire, said: “I removed a layer of skin from my knee as I dived to save a four.”
There is little hope for rain or a drop in temperature, forecasters warn, with cooling autumn temperatures arriving later than usual.
The Met Office says July to late September is seven times more likely to be much warmer than normal than much cooler.
August will see highs of 35C (95F) while September 30C, with near 30C (86F) possible even in October. This would beat the 29.9°C recorded on October 1, 2011.
The Met Office said: “There is an increased likelihood of warmer than average conditions.”
…And even when it rains, it’s the wrong kind
As a couple sheltered under an umbrella in rain-stricken Cumbria, water chiefs have warned heavy showers forecast yesterday will not help reduce the risk of a garden hose ban – as it s is about the ‘wrong kind of rain’.
Suppliers say they need light rain over long periods, because heavy rain on dry ground does not penetrate but simply runs off into sewers, or even causes flash floods.
One said: “We need long-term regular rainfall to soak the land and replenish underground aquifers.”
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