Hydro output in the UK fell by 21% in the three months to January 2001, compared with the same period last year, according to statistics published by the government’s Department of Trade and Industry. The department says that this is due to a high level of snowfall rather than rainfall in January.

The UK Meteorological Office says that January had an average level of precipitation (85mm), but this level would encompass snowfall that had melted inside its gauges. Interestingly it adds that January 2000 was in fact an unusually dry month, with only 49mm of rain falling over England and Wales: 52% of the average.