Deluge follows drought order
Sunday saw the heaviest rainfall of the year across parts of Lincolnshire, only 48 hours on from the drought order issued by the Environment Agency for parts of Eastern England.
14.4mm of rain was recorded at Coningsby yesterday. This brings the total since Friday to 28mm of rain, more than half the monthly average rainfall of 54mm.
Across Yorkshire, Leconfield in the east of the county did even better, with 17.6mm recorded on Sunday, almost the same as Bingley in West Yorkshire, with 17.8mm.
Other drought hit areas measured useful rainfall too, with 9.4mm at Wattisham in Suffolk, and 8.4mm at Wittering in Cambridgeshire.
There is no doubt that parts of Eastern England are in drought, whether this is measured by rainfall deficit, or soil moisture deficit, and more will be needed over the coming weeks and possibly months to resolve the situation.
Yet the timing of the drought order was surprising, given the increasingly clear signal last week from all the main forecasting centres that rainfall totals looked set to increase sharply for the rest of the month compared with what was observed in Spring.
Low pressure is expected to dominate the UK's weather through June, with showers or longer spells of rain, some of which will be heavy. It won't rain every day, but stringing 3 or 4 dry days together this month will be difficult to achieve.
Those who lived through the drought of 1976 will remember that within days of the government appointing Dennis Howell as the Minister for Drought, the heavens opened, indeed September that year turned out to be one of the wettest on record.
It will be interesting to see if the expected rainfall this month will make the drought order issued on Friday as short lived as Mr Howell's then new ministry of drought was back in 1976.