Britain on drought alert as UK as dry as the Sahara Desert

Britain is on drought alert after experts say some parts of the UK have been as dry as the Sahara Desert at this time of year.

Hosepipe bans are 'inevitable', they say, as water shortages are a 'real and stark danger' this summer.

The past two months have seen the opposite of the typical spring showers, with virtually no rain at all, making it the driest spring for nearly a century.

And, with no immediate sign of heavy rainfall on the way, experts say the next few weeks will be critical for water companies, farmers and wildlife.

Reservoir levels in parts of the country are already well below average, and some suppliers are resorting to pumping river water to keep them topped up.

According to the Met Office, parts of Cambridgeshire had just 0.14in of rain during the whole of last month, making it the driest March since 1929, meaning many days were on a par with the almost non-existent rainfall in the Sahara.

The south and south east has had only 4% of the rainfall it would usually expect at this time of year and all areas have had far less than usual.

Jonathan Powell, senior forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions, told the Express: 'There is a very stark and real danger of a drought this summer.

'Some places will inevitably see hosepipe bans at some point as there is no substantial rainfall on the way.'

Met Office forecaster Barry Gromett said: 'We have had a very dry March followed by a pretty dry start to April, just 4% of what we would usually have had by now.

'On the back of a pretty dry winter and very low rainfall for March and the beginning of April we would need a whole month's rainfall in the next two weeks to make it up, and that isn't going to happen.'

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