UK News: i morning briefing: How drought is already bringing devastation

When will it rain? Latest Met Office weather forecast as hosepipe bans imposed across the UK

  When will it rain? Latest Met Office weather forecast as hosepipe bans imposed across the UK Some parts of the UK have seen the lowest amount of rainfall in July since Met Office records began almost 200 years ago, in 1836 The post When will it rain? Latest Met Office weather forecast as hosepipe bans imposed across the UK appeared first on inews.co.uk.

Welcome to Wednesday’s Early Edition from i.

The drought gripping Europe could be one of the worst on record. Currently more than 60 per cent of land in the EU and the UK is under a drought warning or an alert. It is expected that this Friday, a drought will be declared for England, as temperatures hit 35 degrees. Three hosepipe bans are already in place or due to come into effect in the next two weeks. And the dry conditions are not letting up anytime soon, with predictions that they could last until October. The severe weather is already having a big impact – we’ll look at what some of those are, after the news.

Today’s news, and why it matters

Energy debt has hit an all-time high, weeks before bills are due to rise to over £3,500 for a typical household. Around £1.3bn is owed to energy providers, nearly three times higher than a year ago, according to data from comparison website Uswitch. Six million households now owe an average of £206 to providers.

Drought set to be declared on Friday and heat alert issued in England as temperatures rise to 35°C

  Drought set to be declared on Friday and heat alert issued in England as temperatures rise to 35°C National Drought Group will meet on Friday as some rivers in England become impassable due to months of lower than average rainfall , the Environment Agency reported. The National Drought Group of government officials, experts and water company and farming representatives will meet this Friday and it is likely the Environment Agency will move England to official drought status. Three hosepipe bans are already in place or due to come into effect in the next two weeks, but restrictions covering more areas would be expected if the dry weather continues.

Liz Truss refused to rule out future government “handouts” to tackle the cost of living crisis after it was projected that energy bills are forecast to hit £4,200 a year. Her response comes after days of insisting that tax cuts, not direct payments to households, were the answer to soaring costs, and as a leading charity warned of a £1,600 hole in poor families’ finances.

Nearly £1bn of taxpayers’ money has been spent on advertising campaigns by the Government in the three years since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, official figures show. A total of £828.9m was spent by 11 departments, with the real figure expected to be even higher as several ministries, including the Home Office, failed to disclose their spending.

Attorney General Suella Braverman is set to warn that schools which only offer “gender neutral” toilets are acting unlawfully. She will say that teachers who allow students to “socially transition” to the opposite gender without their parents’ consent could be in breach of their duty of care to the child.

The most overrated Disney classics

  The most overrated Disney classics Whether it was a princess story, a love story, or an adventure story, you’ve probably seen one of Disney’s classic animated films. Even though most of them are entertaining and well crafted, others probably don’t deserve the hype they still get today. Here are Disney’s top 20 most overrated movies.

The Pogues’ bass player Darryl Hunt has died aged 72. The band said they were “saddened beyond words”, and quoted lyrics of their song Love You ‘Till The End, which was written by him. The cause of death is not yet known.

Five ways in which drought is affecting life:

  • Crops and farming: In Spain and Italy, severe weather is hitting olive oil, with predictions that production could be reduced by 50-60 per cent. The important agricultural areas around the River Po in Italy are now under a state of emergency, and wine production looks likely to also be affected. Crops in the UK have also failed following the July heatwave, including spinach, peas and berries.  France’s Loire valley, known as the ‘garden’ of France, has also dried up.
  • Drinking water: In France, more than 100 municipalities are short of drinking water, and so it is being delivered by truck. Some 62 regions across France have restrictions on water usage. In England, an Oxfordshire village has also run dry and is now reliant on bottled water. The Stokenchurch Reservoir ran dry as demand spiked, affecting the village of Northend. Water tankers and bottles have been supplied to residents by Thames Water.

    London's parks dry as dust as 30 million people are now in drought zone... but Lord's is still green

      London's parks dry as dust as 30 million people are now in drought zone... but Lord's is still green Aerial photographs show Hyde Park and east London's Wanstead Flats looking like the savannahs of Africa, with only trees providing the usual green shades left parched by weeks of drought.London's normally lush grassy parks have been left parched by weeks of drought and punishingly hot weather.

  • Rivers and waterways: The source of the Thames has dried up, and now Britain’s rivers are set to run low – with the situation even more dire in central and southern Europe. Wetlands around Italy’s River Po, home to amphibians and birds, have shrunk. “It is evident that there is an entire system with an ecology that will have permanent problems,” a local authority official said. In the Netherlands, barges on the lower Rhine river – an important route for transporting coal from Rotterdam to steelmakers and power producers in neighbouring Germany – are operating at less than half capacity. In Belgium, many fish have died as the only water left in some canals and rivers is industrial or sewage effluent. The National Trust also says water features in some historic gardens have dried up, and bats were found disorientated and dehydrated.
  • Grisly findings, and crime: Depleted rivers are also bringing up relics of the past. A 450kg WWII bomb was found by fishermen earlier this week, briefly shutting down river traffic and airspace. Hotter temperatures have also affected glaciers. In Switzerland, hikers stumbled upon two sets of human remains, as well as a plane wreckage, as melting glaciers begin to reveal hidden secrets. Some criminals are also taking advantage of climate change, with one group exploiting the shrinking Arbola glacier in Italy, to hunt for previously inaccessible veins of valuable minerals including quartz, anatase, hematite and muscovite.
  • Greater prospect of floods: As if one climate catastrophe is not enough, the parched grounds left by the dry spell could result in flash floods.  Heavy, intense showers that fall on dry ground tend to run off the surface as the soil is unable to absorb the rain fast enough. Urban areas could be at significant risk, campaigners are warning, as they urge authorities to do more on flood resilience.
Sunflowers in a field in Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary, as searing temperatures shriveling crops across Europe. (Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images) © Provided by The i Sunflowers in a field in Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary, as searing temperatures shriveling crops across Europe. (Photo: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Around the world

The FBI search on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida is the perfect fuel for his nonsensical campaign, explains Daniel Bates. For a man who has played the victim all his life, it was in some ways the perfect gift. What could be a better fundraising tool for the former president than claiming that the ‘Deep State’ was at it again?

Temperatures to hit 36°C before heatwave ends with flash floods and thunder

  Temperatures to hit 36°C before heatwave ends with flash floods and thunder Experts warn people with underlying conditions including heart and lung conditions are ‘likely’ to be at risk.The Met Office has issued an amber heat warning covering most of England and Wales, where temperatures of up to 36°C are predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

July saw the lowest extent of Antarctic sea ice since records began 44 years ago, according to satellite monitoring group the Copernicus Climate Change Service. It said the low ice values continued a string of below-average monthly extents observed since February 2022.

A new virus, believed to have jumped from shrews, has infected dozens of people in China. ‘Langya’ henipavirus was detected in 35 people in the country’s eastern Henan and Shandong provinces. None of the cases have led to death and most are reported to be mild flu-like symptoms.

At least eight people have been killed in the South Korean capital Seoul after record rainfall flooded homes, subway stations and roads. Around 17 inches (43cm) of rainfall was recorded in Seoul’s hardest-hit Dongjak district from Monday to midday on Tuesday.

As Spain ordered its citizens to switch off lights to save energy, the mayor of Vigo has unveiled – in August – what he claimed will be the largest Christmas light display in the world. However, critics claim the festive illuminations will bring exactly the wrong type of attention, making Spain appear a country of energy wasters.

Watch out for…

Rishi Sunak attempting to score some points as he’s interviewed by Nick Robinson on BBC One, at 7pm.

Thoughts for the day

Giving children in the UK school shooting drills is a foolish and dangerous idea, writes Tom Chivers. The explanation for ‘why it is necessary to conduct these drills’ in north London or rural Kent is straightforward: it isn’t, he says.

Surrey is hit by forest fires as aerial footage shows smoke billowing for miles

  Surrey is hit by forest fires as aerial footage shows smoke billowing for miles Drone footage captured a forest fire in Surrey that blazed for miles today as drought was officially declared in eight areas of southern and central England yesterday.Drought was officially declared in eight areas of southern and central England yesterday, and several grasslands have caught alight in these zones following the driest summer in half a century.

No, Sean Bean, intimacy coordinators don’t spoil sex scenes – they save them, says Iona David. The Lord of the Rings star has claimed that intimacy co-ordinators ruin the ‘spontaneity’ of intimate scenes – in fact they are absolutely vital.

Mandatory romance in Italy? I’d rather have a 2am snog at a bus stop, writes Olivia Petter.

You can’t stage a romantic scene, despite what Instagram and endless #couplegoals photos might suggest (Photo:: FilippoBacci/ Getty) © Provided by The i You can’t stage a romantic scene, despite what Instagram and endless #couplegoals photos might suggest (Photo:: FilippoBacci/ Getty)

Culture Break

Olivia Newton-John’s iconic role in Grease made sweetness cool again, writes Christina Newland. With her blue-eyed beauty, her god-given talents as a singer, and the nostalgia of Newton-John’s type of femininity, it was impossible for audiences not to fall for her wholesomeness.

Olivia Newton-John holds a press conference in London, 1978, ahead of the release of Grease (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) © Provided by The i Olivia Newton-John holds a press conference in London, 1978, ahead of the release of Grease (Photo: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Big Read

Rising food prices are unavoidable, as supermarkets run out of ways to fight inflation. Rob Hastings takes a detailed look at why the UK’s grocery chains, which make billions of pounds, still having to pass huge cost increases onto shoppers.

All the economic data and insights suggest there is no ceasefire in sight: prices will keep on rising steeply for months to come. © Provided by The i All the economic data and insights suggest there is no ceasefire in sight: prices will keep on rising steeply for months to come.

Sport

Eddie Jones has been rebuked by the RFU for bemoaning England’s development system and claiming players who attend public schools live a ‘closeted life’ during an exclusive interview with i.

Parts of England brace for ANOTHER day of 33C scorching temperatures before heavy rain moves in

  Parts of England brace for ANOTHER day of 33C scorching temperatures before heavy rain moves in Droughts have been declared in eight areas of southern and central England with an amber warning for 'extreme heat' in place until midnight as the latest heatwave is set to go out with a bang. It comes as several wildfires have already erupted across England in recent days amid the driest summer in half a century.Met Officer meteorologist Dan Stroud said the weather will remain dry across the south today. He added: 'For the rest of the weekend, across the south, there will be a continuation of the very dry and hot conditions.

Woodward labelled Jones’ comments about the mentality of English players ‘astonishing’ (Photos: Getty) © Provided by The i Woodward labelled Jones’ comments about the mentality of English players ‘astonishing’ (Photos: Getty)

Something to brighten your day

They’re more likely to induce nightmares in us, but a new study suggests some spiders might actually dream. Jumping spiders appear to experience a sleep-like state with rapid eye movements similar to those observed in dreaming humans. An ecologist in Germany made the discovery after noticing the way they twitched in silken pouches at night. “If they dream, I mean, what can you do? You cannot smush a spider that dreams,” she said.

A stock photo of a jumping spider. A study suggests they might dream. (Photo: Muhammad Owais Khan/Getty Images) © Provided by The i A stock photo of a jumping spider. A study suggests they might dream. (Photo: Muhammad Owais Khan/Getty Images)

Dryness: the disturbing reappearance of "hunger stones" of several centuries in Europe .
your browser do not support this video while Europe faces a historic drought and sees the water of its rivers s 'Reduing, ancestral inscriptions engraved on submerged rocks of the Elba are resurfaced. For centuries, they have alerted the risk of famine linked to the episodes of drought. "Wenn of Mich Seehst, Dann Weine" - "If you see me, then cry." This is the fatal inscription that the repetitive heat waves would have revealed in Europe on a stone on the banks of the Elbe river, in Czeching .

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