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Driest 6 months in 20 years increases subsidence risk concerns

22nd May 2017

Expert in this field

For the UK as a whole, the last six months have been the driest in 20 years and it was the warmest month of March ever in the southeast.  This is reflected in Met Office Rainfall and Evaporation Calculation System (MORECS) data, which measures soil moisture content, where currently – even after last week’s spell of wet weather – the conditions are very similar to those recorded in previous subsidence event years – specifically 1997, 2005 and 2006.

These very dry ground conditions at the start of the year are a clear indication that we could see an increase in subsidence claims in the months ahead, particularly if we have a dry summer.  Early* predictions from The Met Office is that high pressure is likely to dominate the UK in early June, which would bring largely warmer, drier weather for most, but it’s the rainfall and temperatures in July, August and September that will be critical.

Kevin Williams, Head of Subsidence, Cunningham Lindsey, said:  “Looking at previous subsidence event years, a dry winter and spring has consistently been the key factor, as the weather patterns that followed were invariably mixed.

“Basically, if it continues to be warm and dry into the summer, then it won’t be long before we begin to see an upturn in subsidence claims.  If it turns cold and wet – all bets are off.  At this moment in time, subsidence claim numbers could go either way, but we have a robust plan in place to cope with any potential increase and we’ll continue to monitor the weather forecasts carefully over the coming months.”

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