Widespread water deficits are expected to dominate much of Europe for the 12-month period of May 2015 through April 2016, with the exception of Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, and northern Sweden. This period is depicted in the first map below based on observed temperature and precipitation data through July 2015 and forecasts issued the last week of July 2015.
Cruise ships and cargo vessels on two of Europe's most popular rivers - the Danube and the Elbe - came to a halt recently due to lack of water. The heat wave and sharp decrease in the water levels of rivers and lakes in Ukraine has prompted talk of water restrictions. In Belarus streams and ponds have dried up, trees are shedding their leaves, and the potato crop is threatened. France's corn output is expected to plunge by 28% and fires have forced campground evacuations. The drought is also affecting olive oil production in Spain and electricity supply in Poland.
However, a transition to some moderate surplus conditions is forecast November 2015 through April 2016. The 3-month composites (below) show the evolving conditions in more detail. Widespread deficits are expected from Portugal to Ukraine through October, with greatest extent and severity in Belarus and western Ukraine. Deficits may diminish and transition to surpluses in Western Europe November 2015-January 2016, and in Central Europe February-April. (It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)