Global Soil Moisture Observations and 3-Month Trend

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The global soil moisture anomalies for April 2018 and 3-month trend provided by NOAA is reviewed. There were more dry (11) than wet (7) regional seasonal soil moisture anomaly changes since earlier this year. ENSO now changes to neutral phase and may drift toward weak El Nino later this year.

Observation discussion: The first 4 months of 2018 featured a La Nina climate. Due to the La Nina, the 3-month global soil moisture trend featured more regions trending drier (11) versus wetter (7). In North America 2 regions trended wetter including the East-Central U.S. and west-central Canada. The west-central to southwest Great Plains turned drier. Also trending drier was a large swath of eastern Canada.

Dramatic changes occurred in South America. Due to La Nina northwest South America was dramatically drier. Argentina and Brazil trend in opposite directions over the summer/early autumn season with sharp drier conditions in Argentina while long-term dryness in Brazil eased.

Wet soils widened through mid-spring in Europe. Already wet Western Russia expanded southwestward through Central Europe to Spain the last 3 months. Meanwhile a drier trend occurred across Turkey and northern Europe. Central Russia trended wetter.

Tropical Africa was wetter. East-central Africa observed excessive rainfall and soils are extremely wet in this region. The worst drought zone stretches from Iran/Iraq eastward to northern India. Parts of East China have turned much drier the past 3 months. Harsh drought strengthened across Southeast Australia.