Title: On the use of atmospheric predictors to forecast meteorological droughts over Europe
Citation: NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES vol. 18 no. 12 p. 3297-3309
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC101087
ISSN: 1561-8633 (online)
URI: https://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/18/3297/2018/
DOI: 10.5194/nhess-18-3297-2018
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: An early warning system for drought events can provide valuable information for decision makers dealing with water resources management and international aid. However, predicting such extreme events is still a big challenge. In this study, we compare two approaches for drought predictions based on forecasted precipitation derived from the Ensemble extended forecast model (ENS) of the ECMWF, and on forecasted monthly occurrence anomalies of weather regimes (MOAWRs), also derived from the ECMWF model. Results show that the MOAWRs approach outperforms the one based on forecasted precipitation in winter in the northeastern parts of the European continent, where more than 65% of droughts are detected 1 month in advance. The approach based on forecasted precipitation achieves better performance in predicting drought events in central and eastern Europe in both spring and summer, when the local atmospheric forcing could be the key driver of the precipitation. Sensitivity tests also reveal the challenges in predicting small-scale droughts and drought onsets at longer lead times. Finally, the results show that the ENS model of the ECMWF successfully represents most of the observed linkages between large-scale atmospheric patterns, depicted by the weather regimes and drought events over Europe.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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