Watching: United States and Canada; Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean; South America; Europe; Africa; Middle East; Central Asia and Russia; South Asia; East Asia; Southeast Asia and the Pacific; Australia.
This map presents a selection of regions likely to encounter significant water anomalies during the one year period beginning in January 2016 and running through December 2016 using 3 months of observed temperature and precipitation data and 9 months of forecast data.*
Regional details are available in ISciences' Global Water Monitor & Forecast April 15, 2016 (pdf).
United States and Canada: Overall, conditions in many parts of the US are forecast to be drier than normal. Moderate to exceptional water deficits are expected in the East through the Appalachians, the Midwest through the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, across the Northern Plains and parts of the Central Plains, and in the Southwest. In the summer and early fall exceptional deficits are forecast on the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. Surpluses are forecast in Idaho and northeastern Nevada, the shared border of Minnesota and Iowa, the Canadian and Rio Grande Rivers, and southern Florida. Both deficits and surpluses are expected in the Pacific Northwest. The outlook for Canada indicates widespread water deficits of varying severity across the country with pockets of exceptional deficits expected in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland.
Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean: Water deficits are forecast to persist on the Baja Peninsula and will continue to emerge in southern Mexico, with greatest extent and severity from July onward. Likewise, from July onward deficits are forecast in Guatemala, El Salvador, southern Honduras, western Nicaragua, and eastern Panama. Moderate surpluses are forecast in Sonora, Mexico. Dry conditions are forecast for Haiti.
South America: Exceptional water deficits are forecast to persist across northern South America, particularly across the Amazon basin. Surpluses are forecast in central Paraguay, central and western Argentina, Uruguay, and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Europe: Water deficits will persist in parts of Mediterranean Europe, especially southern Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, southern Greece, and Crete. 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.
Africa: Water deficits are forecast for North Africa and across southern Africa, though not as severe overall as in recent months. However, deficits in Zambia will be especially persistent, widespread, and severe. Surpluses are expected in northern Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, western Ethiopia, Eritrea, and parts of the Sahel.
Middle East: A variety of water conditions are in the forecast for the Mideast, though water deficits remain the dominate factor. Deficits are forecast across southern Turkey, Cyprus, much of Iraq, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and western Oman. Deficits of varying severity are forecast across Saudi Arabia and in Yemen as well, but both deficits and surpluses are predicted in some areas. Surpluses are forecast along the Iraq-Iran border and in a few pockets on Oman’s coast.
Central Asia and Russia: Exceptional water surpluses are forecast in north central Kazakhstan and in central Russia from the Volga River through the Ural Mountains to the western edge of the Central Siberian Plateau. Water deficits are expected in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, western Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
South Asia: The overall forecast for India indicates moderate surpluses for much of the country but water deficits in the south. Surpluses are forecast in northern India, northern Pakistan, and eastern Afghanistan from April through June. A transition to surpluses reaching coast-to-coast across India’s mid-section is expected from July through December.
Southeast Asia and the Pacific: Water deficits are forecast to persist, particularly in mainland Southeast Asia, but also in other countries in the region. From April through June severe to exceptional water deficits are forecast in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Malay Peninsula, Brunei, the Philippines, and southern Papua New Guinea. Surpluses are forecast to continue in western Borneo and West Java during this period. Deficits are forecast on the island of Timor from July through October.
East Asia: Moderate to exceptional water surpluses are forecast to persist in southeast China, then transition to moderate deficits in the later months. Moderate to exceptional deficits are forecast in northeast China, exceptional deficits in Mongolia, and both deficits and surpluses are forecast in western regions of China including the Tibetan Plateau. Surpluses are expected on the Yangtze River in April and on the Yellow River in June.
Australia: The forecast indicates the presence of persistent water deficits across the north and in Victoria, Tasmania, and North Island, New Zealand. With the exception of Tasmania, these deficits are expected to diminish during the later months of the forecast. A transition from moderate deficits to moderate surpluses in the Murray-Darling Basin is forecast in September.
* 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.
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