Highlight: Europe Avoids Early Summer Drought Thanks to June Rains. But deep layer soil moisture deficits is an invitation to returning dry soils once pesky upper trough is removed.
Discussion: May was an exceptionally dry month across Europe and dry soil moisture conditions steadily broadened and intensified featuring Southeast Europe as a drought area and Central Europe plus U.K. as a rapidly developing drought area (Fig. 1). However, a weather pattern change in June featuring a persistent wet upper trough presence has caused widespread heavy rains to ease drought risk especially in France and the Baltic nations (Fig. 2). Much of the Southeast Europe dryness is likely intact and Germany has also received less beneficial rain in June compared to other locations. Part of the catalyst for the rapid broadening and intensifying dryness observed in May is the large area of deep soil moisture deficit centered on Eastern Europe (Fig. 3).
Fig. 1: The European Drought Observatory issued their end-of-May soil moisture condition analysis emphasizing widespread dry-to-drought conditions developing.
Fig. 2: HOWEVER, since that analysis heavy rains have affected much of Europe easing drought risk.
Fig. 3: The 9-month deep layer (10-200 CM) soil moisture deficit identifies areas that can turn dry at the surface very rapidly given a dry and warm weather pattern sometimes causing “flash drought”.