The threat of drought receded as a wet and extremely windy February blew itself out yesterday. Reservoirs are mostly nearly full - as they should be at this time of year - and groundwater levels have at last begun to rise slowly. Rainfall in England and Wales was more than 38 per cent above the long-term average for the shortest month, following one of the driest Januaries on a record stretching back nearly 300 years.
Rainfall over the six months from September - the period in which the country's water supplies are replenished - has been 80 per cent of the long term average.
This February has seen three weeks of strong winds, with depression after depression sweeping in from the west. The Meteorological Office said it was the most tempestuous period since the start of 1990, when there was the second of the two Great