The Big Picture
Exceptional water surpluses are forecast along rivers in Kazakhstan and in central Russia from the Volga River through the Ural Mountains to the western edge of the Central Siberian Plateau (see 12-month map below). Water deficits are expected in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

Impacts
Over 100 people in North Kazakhstan had to be rescued from blizzard conditions which forced the closing of major highways in Karaganda and delayed flights in Astana and Almaty. Avalanche warnings were in effect in South Kazakhstan and Almaty as potentially deadly snow conditions developed in mountainous regions.

Tajikistan's President, Imomali Rakhmon, is preparing for drought that could threaten food stocks, and has warned downstream neighbors Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The region has a complicated and strained history of water interdependence, with Tajikistan in control of the main water source, the Amu Darya River. Turkmenistan has the highest rate of water consumption per capita in the world according to data from the World Bank.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period show the evolving conditions in more detail. Moderate to severe deficits are forecast in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan through November with greatest severity in March. Both deficits and surpluses are expected in Russia between the Urals and the Central Siberian Plateau June through August, and primarily surpluses thereafter.

(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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