Last winter has been very mild but very long. It's cold and rainy today, a midsummer's day in the English Midlands. But that's just for today.
Meanwhile BW have issued a warning about water shortages this summer on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, a waterway that always sensitive to rainfall:
The rainfall in the region since the beginning of May has been the second lowest over the last 80 years with less than 30% of long term average rainfall.
BW is striving to do as much as it can to ensure that the risks are kept to a minimum, and despite an extremely dry period, there is a 70% chance that restrictions to navigation will not be required over the course of this summer.
Darren Leftley, head of hydrology at BW comments: "Normally the north and west of England and Scotland experience higher rainfall totals than the south and east.
This year we’ve seen somewhat of a reverse and our reservoirs in the south and east are generally above their long term averages whilst a number in the north and Scotland are lower than normal.
This isn't mentioned on the Waterscape news page. I suspect it's to protect the hireboat industry on this lovely waterway. They don't want rumours spread that canals might be closed, discouraging bookings.
But a canal holiday is always a matter of squaring the circle. Hireboat companies want the rain to fill the reservoirs, but their customers want the sun to fill their hearts.
- Choose BST if you are a late riser.
- Choose GMT if you like to get up with the dawn.
Either way, you'll be less affected by water shortages. And you'll compete with fewer boats.