Picture of small river
Latest Outlook
Outlook map for January 2022. River flows are likely to be in the normal range in January and the period to March. Groundwater levels are likely to be normal to above normal in January and the period to March.

January 2022 Hydrological Outlook

Period: From January 2022      Issued on 11.01.2022 using data to the end of December 2021

River flows in January, and the three month period to March, are likely to be in the normal range throughout the UK, with some possible exceptions as noted in the text below. Groundwater levels are likely to be normal to above normal during January, and this will continue to be the case in most areas over the period to the end of March, although with some fall in level in the Chalk of north London perhaps to below normal.

Rainfall:

December rainfall was generally close to the long-term average across the UK. Areas where rainfall was below normal included central southern England and western Scotland. There was above average rainfall across central parts of England and Wales, and the border area of northeast England and southeast Scotland

The rainfall outlook (issued by the Met Office on 20.12.2021) suggests that the chance of above normal rainfall in January is less than normal, and that over the period to March there is a below normal chance dry conditions.

River flows:

River flows in December were normal or below normal in southwest and southeast England. Further north river flows were normal to above normal (note that data are currently unavailable for Scotland and Wales).

The outlook for January is for flows to be in the normal range throughout the UK. Possible exceptions to this are the central southern England and northeast Scotland where there is a chance of below normal flows, and the border region of northeast England and southeast Scotland where flows may be above normal.

The outlook to the end of March is similar, although with an increased chance of above normal flows.

Groundwater:

Observed groundwater levels in December, were  in the normal to above normal range throughout the UK, although it should be noted that fewer observations than normal are available because of Covid-19 related access restrictions and IT issues in Scotland and Wales.

Groundwater levels in January are expected to be in the normal range in the Chalk aquifers, and normal to above normal elsewhere in the UK. Levels will remain similar in the period to March, although levels in the Chalk of north London may fall below normal.