An historical analysis of drought in England and Wales

Cole, Gwyneth A.; Marsh, Terry J.. 2006 An historical analysis of drought in England and Wales. In: Climate variability and change: hydrological impacts. Proceedings of the fifth FRIEND World Conference, Havana, Cuba, November 2006. IAHS, 483-489.

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This paper presents a chronology of drought in England and Wales from 1800 to the present day. It demonstrates how documented historical evidence of drought impact and synthetic flow series can be used to augment limited observed data and extend the period over which natural climate variability can be investigated. Rainfall deficiency analyses, seasonal partitioning of rainfall and an Aridity Index are presented to assess the relative severity of each event and examine long-term trends in drought frequency and magnitude. Over 30 important droughts were identified over the 200 year period, with a repeated tendency for dry years to cluster together to create multi-year droughts (e.g. 1798–1805, 1890–1909). Many predate observed hydrological data, leading to possible underestimation of drought risk. No compelling trends of increasing drought frequency or magnitude were found, although winter and summer rainfall showed marked spatial and temporal differences across England.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Paper)
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Water Quality
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Climate Variability and Change—Hydrological Impacts (Proceedings of the Fifth FRIEND World Conference held at Havana, Cuba, November 2006), IAHS Publ. 308, 2006,
Additional Keywords: drought, drought impact, historical analyses, BHS Chronology, deficiency, water resources, England and Wales
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 30 May 2008 08:04 +0 (UTC)

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