The Big Picture
Severe to exceptional water deficits are forecast to emerge throughout Mediterranean Europe, as seen in the 12-month map (below), with greatest extent and severity in eastern Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Campania (Italy), southern Greece, and Crete. Deficits are also forecast in Finland and the Baltics. Surpluses are forecast for Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Impacts
As the Mediterranean olive oil season ends after the hottest year on record in Spain, consumers are likely to see prices rise up to 20 percent due to drought conditions that hit the country's 300 million olive trees. The region is at continued drought risk, as evident in the March through August forecast maps (below). A study published recently in Nature concluded that the Mediterranean basin may be warming at an even faster pace than the rest of the world. Parts of Ireland, in contrast, recorded their wettest winter ever - over 300 percent more rain in the south - according to Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Service.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites for the same 12-month time period (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail. From March through May deficits are forecast to continue in the Mediterranean and Finland and spread in the Baltics, while much of the remainder of Europe stays wet, particularly Ireland, UK, central Slovakia, eastern Hungary, and northwestern Romania. A transition away from water surpluses is apparent in the June through August map, though eastern Hungary is forecast to remain wet. Deficits emerge in Norway and Belarus and spread in the Baltics. Deficits are also forecast along the southbound Loire River, and in central Romania and Bulgaria. In July water deficits are expected to be particularly widespread and severe in Spain. 

(It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)

Comment

Many analyses reported in ISciences-authored blog posts are based on data generated by the ISciences Water Security Indicator Model (WSIM). Other sources, if used, are referenced in footnotes accompanying individual posts. WSIM is a validated capability that produces monthly reports on current and forecast global freshwater surpluses and deficits with lead times of 1-9 months at 0.5°x0.5° resolution. This capability has been in continuous operation since April 2011 and has proven to provide reliable forecasts of emerging water security concerns in that time-frame. WSIM has the ability to assess the impacts of water anomalies on people, agriculture, and electricity generation. Detailed data, customized visualizations, and reports are available for purchase.

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