January 2021 Global Soil Moisture Outlook

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East-central U.S. trending drier – trend continues during spring.

Wet recent trend in central South America reverses drier the next 3 months.

Europe/Black Sea region looks wetter the next 3 months.

Fig. 1: The global NOAA/CPC global soil moisture anomaly analysis for January 2021 and annotated 3-month soil moisture change.

January 2021 global soil moisture 3-month trend discussion: Only one significant change across North America…drier in the East-central U.S. (Fig. 1). In Central America a much wetter trend was observed and extended to the Caribbean Islands. In South America, the drought pattern eased in both northwestern and central South America.

In Europe only minor changes were observed including wetter across U.K. An intense drought east of the Black Sea region to Kazakhstan intensified. Northwest Africa turns drier plus west tropical Africa observed drier soils. South Africa trends wetter.

In East Asia not much change. Exceptions are drier in Thailand while northeastern Russia trends wetter. Wetter changes dominated northern and central Australia.

Fig. 2: The global NOAA/CPC global soil moisture anomaly analysis for January 2021 and annotated 3-month soil moisture forecast.

January 2021 global soil moisture 3-month forecast discussion: The outlook is based on projections of a transition toward neutral ENSO while cool phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation continues and warm phase of the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation is also steady. The Indian Ocean Dipole stays neutral.

Results indicate a dry trend continuing in the East-central and Northeast U.S. (Fig. 2). In South America, dryness is projected for northeast Argentina/southeast Brazil and northeast Brazil. Wet climate persists across northwestern South America.

In Europe to Western Russia several wetter soil moisture trend areas are expected. France and Portugal trend wetter while Southeast Europe and the Black Sea region also trend wetter. Southeast of the Black Sea region dryness strengthens.

A wet trend is likely across a large region…Southeast Asia, Western Indonesia and northern Australia. South Africa also trends wetter.