July 2019 set new heat records – but was wetter than you might think

The latest water reports have revealed how wet July was across much of the South East, despite heat records being broken.

Following a wet June, when some counties experienced 200% of their long-term average rainfall, the latest water reports from the Environment Agency show the summer rain continued for many.

In Kent and the south London area, 102% of the long-term average was recorded, with 80% falling on just two days – the 19th and 26th.

The highest daily total of the month was 44.2mm, recorded at Redgate Mill, in the upper Medway catchment, on the 26th .

Soil moisture deficits increased in dry weather in the first two weeks, then fell back to around the average at the end of the month. Monthly mean river flows were mostly normal, but below normal at two key indicator sites on the River Great Stour and River Wandle.

Groundwater levels receded more slowly than earlier and ended the month normal to below normal, being lower in the west of the area.

The Solent and South Downs area had 109% of the long-term average, with reservoir stocks above average at Ardingly Reservoir and Arlington Reservoir.

Almost half (49%) of all rainfall recorded across the Solent and South Downs area fell on the 19th. Despite relatively large rainfall totals there were, on average, only six days on which it actually rained.

The highest rainfall totals were recorded in the Cuckmere catchment on the 26th of the month with 50mm.

In the Thames area, 90% of the long-term average was recorded, dropping to 69% in Wessex.