The dominance of water deficits in much of Europe - with the exception of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern Sweden - is apparent in the 12-month composite map (below). The map is based on observed data through August and forecasts issued the last week of August 2015. 

The impacts of the drought in Europe have been widely reported and include crop losses in France and Germany, record lows on rivers such as the Elbe,  restrictions to civil and industrial water use, and wildfires. The drought in Germany has been called the worst in 12 years with some areas reporting the lowest levels of soil moisture since records began in 1951.

However, the forecast indicates a gradual transition to surpluses in many areas as evident in the 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month period.

Though deficits are expected to persist in much of Europe through October, particularly along major rivers, they may diminish and transition to surpluses November 2015 through May 2016. Surpluses may emerge first in Western Europe and later in Central Europe. In contrast, water deficits are expected in the following areas November through May: Mediterranean Spain, Italy, and the Balkan Peninsula. (It should be noted that forecast skill declines with longer lead times.)


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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