The Big Picture
Overall, water deficits are forecast to persist in parts of Mediterranean Europe, especially southern Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, southern Greece, and Crete, as seen in the 12-month map (below). Central and Eastern Europe will transition from surplus to deficits, with the exception of eastern Hungary, which will remain wet. Deficits are forecast for Northern Europe, including Finland, Sweden, the Baltics, and later on, Norway.*

Impacts
In Cork City, Ireland the River Lee overflowed into the streets during a recent storm that ran a Portuguese trawler aground in nearby Kinsale Harbour as its crew jumped overboard and was rescued. Frequent flooding in the region has prompted the Office of Public Works to accelerate plans for the area's €60m (US$86m) flood defense scheme, the largest of its kind in the country.

Farmers in Sanliurfa Province - Turkey's third largest agricultural region - are concerned about crop loss as they watch their acreage turn yellow due to ongoing drought conditions. In recent months rainfall has been roughly half what it was last year. Dry weather in Ukraine cut autumn sowing, leaving wheat planting area at the lowest in a decade, which could reduce output by 20 percent according to UkrAgroConsult. Heavy rain, on the other hand, has cut Romania's planting area to a decade low; officials estimate a 9 percent drop in output.

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites for the same 12-month time period (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail. While the UK and Ireland remain wet through June, water deficits are forecast to emerge in Central and Eastern Europe, with noticeable deficits along the Vistula and Oder Rivers in Poland. Moderate (5-10 year) to exceptional (greater than 40 year) deficits will also emerge in southern Sweden, Finland, the Baltics, and eastward near St. Petersburg, Russia. During this same period deficits will persist in some parts of the Mediterranean – southern Portugal and southern Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, southern Greece, and Crete – while Calabria, Italy remains wet.

Eastern Hungary is forecast to remain wet from April through October. From July through September deficits will spread in Scandinavia, emerging in Norway, while deficits in Central and Eastern Europe diminish. In August water deficits are expected to be particularly severe across southern Portugal and southern Spain.

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

* Please note that effective March 28, 2016 NOAA changed the initialization procedure for CFSv2 to address issues with unrealistically cold sea surface temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. As a result, this month's Watch List is based on an ensemble of 14 CFSv2 forecasts issued after this fix was implemented instead of the normal 28. For more information see http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/notification/tin16-09cfs.htm and http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/changes/downloads/CFSv2_Atlantic_cold_bias_problem.pdf.

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.

For more information contact info@isciences.com.

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