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It might feel wet this week but experts are warning that parts of England need unseasonable rainfall to compensate for an abnormally dry winter.

Rivers in some of England and Wales ran their lowest on record for February, according to data from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

England had its driest February for 30 years, according to the Met Office.

Rivers and reservoirs that supply drinking water and feed crops rely on winter rain to top up before spring.

Without “unseasonably sustained rainfall” in the coming months, South West England and East Anglia are at risk of drought, the UKCEH explains.

“The wet weather and snow during the first two weeks of March has led to an increase in river flows and rewetting of the soils [but] some areas of England were starting March with below-average groundwater levels or below-average reservoir stocks,” Steve Turner at UKCEH told BBC News.

Drought was declared in England and Wales last summer, leading to hosepipe bans, farmers losing crops and some wildlife dying.

Rain in February was also in short supply in Wales and Northern Ireland, with Wales seeing just 22% of its average for the month.

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