Tilshead Borehole Levels: 21st December 2018

It’s been a very wet week and that has meant that there has been an awful lot of surface water around.  If you have been into Salisbury along the Netherhampton road you will have seen that the water meadows are starting to flood.  In the village, there are large run-off pools downstream of the Church Street bridge and water is flowing slowly under the footbridge at Dryden Street*.  It won’t come as a surprise then to learn that this winter has already proved to be the equal first wettest December in the last six years.  In fact, because of rain in the early hours of this morning, which isn’t recorded until midnight tonight, I can already say that this will be the wettest December in the last six years – and we still have 10 days of the month to go.

December Rainfall  mm
2013-2014 6
2014-2015 44
2015-2016 11
2016-2017 8
2017-2018 95
2018-2019 95

With the ground as saturated as it is, it should come as no surprise that the borehole water levels have risen steadily over the last week and are now within a gnat’s whisker of the six-year average. Even without more rain, I would expect the levels to continue to rise steadily as the groundwater soaks in.

The next 7 days will give us a much clearer idea of whether the water levels are following the usual profile for “average” or “flood” years or whether they might level out a bit to be closer to the green line representing a late Spring.  Christmas week seems to be critical for our winterbourne and I sometimes wonder if the village shouldn’t have have been renamed Winterbourne Christmas.

We are expecting more heavy rain this evening and overnight and patchy rain from then until Christmas Day; at least it will be mild.  However, the rest of December is likely to continue to be damp and this will extend into early January.   But, and it’s a huge but, events in the upper atmosphere show an increasing likelyhood of sudden stratospheric warming. What this means is that the weather could get very cold, very quickly, from the start of the New Year onwards, with precipitation falling as snow onto saturated ground.


Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council