Global Soil Moisture Trend and Forecast Report

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Canadian drought worsens, dryness to develop Central/South Europe, El Nino/+IOD inspired drought for Australia/Indonesia, and Brazil drought ahead!

Fig. 1: July 2023 global soil moisture anomalies and 3-month trend.

Observation discussion: Regions of drier change during the past 3 months outnumber the wetter change by 14-4 (Fig. 1). One possible explanation is the increased mid-atmospheric high pressure related to large regions of anomalous warm SSTA and causing dry climate. In North America, the immense Canadian Drought worsened adding northeastern Alaska. In the U.S., drought developed and worsened over the Midwest States while the Texas and Mexico Drought also intensified. In South America, a major drought in Brazil has initiated.

Central Europe to the Baltic Region dry soils strengthened adding eastern Scandinavia. In the Black Sea region, soil moisture shifted wetter. Northeast Africa also observed a wetter trend. Northwest Africa to Southwest Europe drought stayed intact. In Africa, the western tropics south of the equator shifted into a drought pattern.

The aerial coverage of drought across Central Russia expanded and intensified during the past 3 months. Coastal Northeast Russia also shifted into drought. Southeast Asia has areas of drought centered on Southwest India and Thailand. Each coast of Australia observed developing dry soil conditions.

Fig. 2: July 2023 global soil moisture anomalies and 3-month forecast.

Forecast discussion: Unfortunately, the outlook through November, calls for worsening drought in Canada (Fig. 2). The Southwest U.S. also returns to drought conditions. A wetter climate is forecast for the Gulf States and western half of the Caribbean Islands. In Brazil, a major drought continues to develop. The harsh drought centered on Uruguay and vicinity should ease.

Widening dryness is projected across Central and South Europe during the next 3 months. Conversely, a wetter regime is projected across Turkey and eastward. The large drought area in Central Russia strengthens.

In Africa, an anticipated positive phase of the Indian Ocean dipole (+IOD) causes wetter changes across tropical Africa. Some of that moisture works into the Sahara Desert to eliminate the African Dust ejected into the North Atlantic tropics.

Elsewhere, the combination of +IOD and El Nino should cause expanding drought across Indonesia and Australia.