The Big Picture
As the 12-month map ending February 2017 (below) indicates, water deficits are forecast for Central and parts of Mediterranean Europe and surpluses are forecast for Western Europe. Deficits are expected to persist in Finland and the Baltics.

Torrential rains caused flooding in central and northeastern France, resulting in one confirmed death 30 miles southeast of Paris. The Seine rose to 18 feet and Parisians resorted to evacuation via boats and kayaks as the lower embankments were inundated, roads became inaccessible, and part of the commuter train system was shut down as a preventative measure. The Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay closed to protect priceless works of art. The Loing River, a tributary of the Seine, rose to levels not seen since 1910. Throughout France power was disrupted in at least 19,000 homes and 20,000 people were evacuated.

Nine people died and three others are missing in flooding that struck Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in southwestern Germany. “Within a few minutes, the water level rose about several meters,” said Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann. Campers in Rhineland-Palatinate, which borders Baden-Württemberg to the northwest, had to be rescued by helicopter as the Ahr River rose nearly 13 feet, an unprecedented level. 

Forecast Breakdown
The 3-month composites (below) for the same 12-month time period show the evolving conditions in more detail. From June through August moderate to exceptional surpluses are forecast in northeastern France; northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain; North Yorkshire, UK; and, southern Albania and across the border into Greece.

The June through August map also clearly indicates moderate to extreme deficits in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Austria, and western Ukraine. Deficits trace paths along the Elbe River through Germany and the Oder and Vistula Rivers through Poland. Deficits are forecast to continue to emerge in the Baltics, Finland, and southern Sweden. Southern Norway will transition from surplus to deficit in some areas, including the Otra River. In the Mediterranean, deficits are forecast to persist in Mediterranean Spain, Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, the Peloponnese region of Greece, and Crete.

From September through November both deficits and surpluses throughout Europe are forecast to diminish in severity, except for the persistence of severe to exceptional deficits in Finland.

A transition to moderate water surplus is forecast for Central Europe, the Baltics, Sweden, and Norway from December through February.

(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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