With some areas of the UK already under enforced hosepipe bans and a new heatwave on its way next week, Birmingham locals may be wondering if similar restrictions may be set to take place.
Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man have all had bans implemented already, meaning residents must stop the use of all hosepipes. From watering the garden to filling up paddling pools; will the heat in the West Midlands see Birmingham follow suit? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why are there hosepipe bans in effect across the UK?
The effects of the well-above average temperatures seen across the country this summer are unprecedented for many. On 19 July, all-time records were shattered in countless towns and cities, including Birmingham where the mercury hit a staggering 38°C.
Not only have temperatures soared – levels of rainfall seen across the vast majority of the United Kingdom have been well below what we’d normally see, and reservoirs are ‘below average’ for this time of year as a result.
South East Water, explaining their decision to implement a hosepipe ban in the south of England, said: “This has been a time of extreme weather conditions across the UK. Official figures show we had the driest July on record since 1935.
“The period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the driest eight-month stint since 1976. The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave.”
Where in the UK are there hosepipe bans?
There are currently three areas in the UK with hosepipe bans at the time of publication, with two more bracing for restrictions from late next week.
- South East Water has issued a Temporary Use Ban in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from today (August 5), restricting the use of hosepipes and sprinklers.
- South East Water will then roll these limitations out to Kent and Sussex from August 12 until further notice.
Will there be a hosepipe ban in Birmingham?
There hasn’t been a hosepipe ban in Birmingham since 1995 – 27 years ago – and as it stands, it looks as if it will remain that way. Local water provider Severn Trent currently have no plans to introduce such a ruling, but they have encouraged Brummies to save water where they can.
In a list shown on their website, Severn Trent suggest you should:
- Have a shower rather than a bath, and where possible take 30 seconds off your shower as this will save five litres of water.
- Use a bucket and sponge rather than a hose to clean cars.
- Look for leaking toilets and get them fixed as soon as possible.
- Turn off taps whenever they’re not in use.
- When emptying paddling pools, use the water to hydrate your plants.
- Water plants in the evening as less water will evaporate than if it was done in the afternoon.
What is the weather forecast in Birmingham next week?
It’s been a pleasant week for Brummies with mainly dry weather and temperatures staying in the low twenties for the most part, but next week things are set to get even warmer, according to the Met Office.
High pressure is set to build, bringing even drier and hotter conditions to Birmingham. The Met Office said: “There will be lengthy periods of sunshine for most with occasional cloudier spells. It will be cool in places overnight but feeling increasingly very warm by day.”
Six-day weather forecast for Birmingham:
- Saturday 6 August: Sunny spells, turning cloudy in the afternoon (21°C/12°C)
- Sunday 7 August: Sunny spells (22°C/12°C)
- Monday 8 August: Sunny (24°C/14°C)
- Tuesday 9 August: Sunny (27°C/16°C)
- Wednesday 10 August: Sunny (27°C/16°C)
- Thursday 11 August: Sunny (27°C/15°C)
What constitutes a heatwave?
According to the Met Office, a UK heatwave threshold is met when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. The threshold varies by UK county.
The threshold in the West Midlands is 30°C by day and 15°C by night. As much of the ‘very warm’ and ‘hot’ weather the Met Office is predicting will be towards the middle and end of August, it is hard to say the exact temperatures, but there is certainly potential for another heatwave in Birmingham.
A mix of high pressure and above-average temperatures is the recipe for a heatwave, and this is exactly what the Met Office has implied will be coming this month.