April set to be driest on record

Traditionally it is a month of showers, but this April is on course to be the driest ever in East Anglia, with no substantial rainfall due to fall until May.

Traditionally it is a month of showers, but this April is on course to be the driest ever in East Anglia, with no substantial rainfall due to fall until May.

So far this month, rainfall in Norfolk has averaged just 1mm, well below the usual level for the month of between 41 to 47mm.

And with conditions set to remain dry, it seems inevitable that this April will snatch the title from April 1996 when 6.5mm fell.

“Records in Norfolk go back to 1914 and this could be the driest April on record,” said Graeme Forrester, of the Met Office.

So far this month the mean 24-hour temperature in East Anglia has been 10.5C, nearly up to the level of 1943 when the mercury reached 11.1C.

John Law, of WeatherQuest, based at UEA, said: “There have been one or two spots of rain this month, but nothing substantial.”

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The warm, dry weather had been caused by an area of high pressure over Scandinavia, and was being followed by another anticyclone coming in from the south-west.

Mr Law said a cold front would pass through early today, possibly bringing one or two showers. “It should be dry on Thursday and Friday and into the weekend. There will not be much in the way of rain until Monday or Tuesday or even later into next week.”

Alan Gray, EDP gardening columnist, said: “It's not causing real problems at the moment, but if the drought goes on then it could. The ground is very hard and the grass is starting to turn yellow.”