Water levels in East Anglia remain below their expected level for the time of year – and there are fears we won't see enough steady rain to replenish them this winter.

And even average rainfall over the next six months could put serious strains on water supplies if we have another exceptionally dry summer next year, water bosses say.

Forecasters at Norwich-based Weatherquest recorded an average of 83% of normal September rainfall last month – enough to turn grass green and refresh gardens generally, but not enough to restore reservoir levels.

Meteorologist Adam Drury said: "We think we are looking at about average rainfall levels over the winter. Some months may be up, others down, but there's no indication of anything exceptional either way."

Anglian Water bosses would like to see above-average rainfall during the winter to refill its reservoirs and underground water resources after a very dry summer.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "There are below-normal levels of water for the time of year in our reservoirs and groundwater so we would like to see above-average rainfall during the winter.

"This region, like most others, remains in drought – and if we don't get significant rainfall over the next few months we could have major challenges next year."

But while there is concern about rainfall levels, Weatherquest experts are hopeful the winter will not be too cold – expecting temperatures to be average or above average for the time of year.

Mr Drury said: "We cannot see any indication of a prolonged cold spell during the winter. It looks as if it is going to be about or above average.

"That is not to say there won't be short cold spells – there are some phenomena going on around the world that could bring in something for a few days, but nothing that looks like a long cold spell."

There have been a series of mild winters over recent years, with even the Beast from the East only lasting a few days in 2018.