Where are Northern Hemisphere Drought Concern Areas for Crops?

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Fig. 1-3: Current and projected drought areas for the northern hemisphere.

Discussion: As mid-spring passes, drought potential for late spring and summer 2023 in the northern hemisphere becomes more in focus. In the U.S., intense drought stretches across much of Kansas with nearly as intense dryness northward into Nebraska and southward through central and western Texas (Fig. 1). The drought area largely stays intact for summer 2023 possibly extending northwestward to the 4 Corners region where deep layer soil moisture deficits are located now. Another concern area is the northern Great Plains and Canadian prairies where Climate Impact Company projects high-pressure to build during summertime which could trigger a mid-to-late summer drought.

In Europe, a suppressed drought risk is present now thanks to late cold season rainfall. However, drought in Northwest Africa is extending to East Spain, South France, and Italy and this condition is likely to continue and could spread northward during summer (Fig. 2). An emerging drought is forecast for Southwest Russia and the immediate Black Sea region later this summer.

Finally, drought is occurring now in Thailand to South-central China (Fig. 3). The China drought is forecast to erode while the Thailand drought continues. Potential for a major drought during JUN/JUL/AUG/SEP is forecast for Western Indonesia. A drought pattern may also develop in India. The combination of developing El Nino and positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole simultaneously is the catalyst.