Europe hit by one of the worst droughts since 2003

Areas with the lowest soil moisture content since 1990 in July 2015 (in red) and in July 2003 (in blue) are shown. CREDIT Source: JRC-EDEA database (EDO). © EU, 2015
Areas with the lowest soil moisture content since 1990 in July 2015 (in red) and in July 2003 (in blue) are shown. Source: JRC-EDEA database (EDO).


Much of the European continent has been affected by severe drought in June and July 2015, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest report by the JRC’s European Drought Observatory (EDO). The drought, which particularly affects France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, is caused by a combination of prolonged rain shortages and exceptionally high temperatures.

Satellite imagery and modelling revealed that the drought, caused by prolonged rainfall shortage since April, had already affected soil moisture content and vegetation conditions in June. Furthermore, the areas with the largest rainfall deficits also recorded exceptionally high maximum daily temperatures: in some cases these reached record values.

Another characteristic of this period was the persistence of the thermal anomalies: in the entire Mediterranean region, and particularly in Spain, the heat wave was even longer than that of 2003, with maximum daily temperatures consistently above 30°C for durations of 30 to 35 days (even more than 40 days in Spain).

While sectors such as tourism, viticulture and solar energy benefited from the unusual drought conditions, many environmental and production sectors suffered due to water restrictions, agricultural losses, disruptions to inland water transport, increased wildfires, and threats to forestry, energy production, and human health.

Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation. The current seasonal weather forecast envisages more abundant rains for the Mediterranean region in September, but no effective improvement is yet foreseen for parts of western, central and eastern Europe.


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August 21, 2015 2:49 pm

Definition of drought in English:
A prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall; a shortage of water resulting from this.
Source :
I am not sure I would be able to consider a month or two of slightly below average rainfalls as a drought.

Reply to  Felflames
August 21, 2015 9:42 pm

Last Thurday, 13th August, there were widespread rains storms that affected most of France and moved across into Germany.
In this area on the french mediteranean coast, something like 30cm of rain fell in 24h and the ground was boggy and staturated on Friday morning. Much to the delight of the wine growers who regard rain at this time of year as money falling from heaven.
I guess the “drought” is over before it started.

Reply to  Mike
August 22, 2015 4:36 am

Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation

This must be some kind of joke.
As a result of statistical cherry-picking of June-July, they can show that about 20% of Europe has had its driest season for 12-25 years. You have at least 6 choices of two-month periods in a year. The probability you find 20% of Europe 20-year record dry at a particular year is about what? 20 per cent? Or more? And, honestly, these folks are as happy with record warm, wet, frost, wind, low pressure (sea level!), snowstorm, lack of snow, just name it. So practically they have, like the Yellow Press, always something in their back-pocket.
Sorry, Paris is too late. The tipping point was in September 2015, when the Arctic melts.

Reply to  Felflames
August 21, 2015 9:45 pm

BTW I spent the last month working for two wine growers here, the last week picking a very good crop. No one has been talking about a “drought”.

Reply to  Felflames
August 21, 2015 9:49 pm

More rain in much of France forecast for tommorow:

Reply to  Felflames
August 21, 2015 10:18 pm

Note who is reporting this:
European Drought Observatory (EDO)
Drought News August 2015
Can’t justify funding for a Drought Observatory if they can’t produce a drought, can we?

Similarly to the summer of 2003, a large part of the continental EU was affected by a severe drought in June and July 2015…..
Another characteristic of this period was the persistence of the thermal anomalies: in the entire Mediterranean region, and particularly in Spain, the heat wave was even longer than that of 2003, with maximum daily temperatures consistently above 30°C for durations of 30 to 35 days (even more than 40 days in Spain).

WOW, temps have been “consistently” above 30 deg C , ooo-errrr ! That is what is called summer in this part of the world,
The Med is hot and sunny in July? That is why it is main holiday destination for most of Europe.

Disclaimer: The present EDO products are still under development, and are therefore subject to changes. The views expressed here may not
under any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission (EC).

In short this is not claimed to be reliable, no one is taking responsability for it, feel free to mis-represent as required for your own agenda ….

Reply to  Mike
August 21, 2015 10:26 pm

Nowhere in the report are the terms “drought” or “severe drought” defined. Neither are there any rainfall figures, not one. Just another undefined “Standardized Precipitation Index “.
Despite the citation about temperature anomalies above, there are NO figures for anomalies anywhere in the report. All the maps are actual temperatures so they present nothing to support thier claim of temps “significantly above the seasonal norm.”
Totally meaningless, unscientific hype.

M Seward
Reply to  Felflames
August 22, 2015 5:41 am

Errr. Here in Oz we measure droughts in YEARS OF NO RAIN not months of lower than usual rain.
“Satellite imagery and modelling ” is the giveaway that this is this some kind of joke, surely ?

August 21, 2015 2:49 pm

Oh, no! It’s the worst it’s ever been since 12 years ago! It’s unprecedented!
Hey, guys, how have you been since 1003? 3?

Phil R
Reply to  AnonyMoose
August 21, 2015 6:26 pm

No, it’s only “one of the worst” since 2003!!
It must be GW since there have been so many in the last 12 years (then again, I guess it gets warm every year about this time).
As a side note to those of you in the drought zone (or near vicinity), I had a work trip to Spain for the first time in my life for two weeks in early July and it was absolutely spectacular!! Even had a free weekend to go see the rock of Gibraltar (as a geologist, couldn’t not go once we were that close). Would go back in a heartbeat if I had the chance, no matter what the temp.

Reply to  Phil R
August 21, 2015 7:59 pm

Many of the named regions have what is called a Mediterranean Climate, same as California. In fact, this is where that climate regime got it’s name! What a coincidence.
And guess what the defining feature of this climate is?
Hold on to your hats….drum roll please…summer drought!
Yes, if it rained much in summer in Spain, it would be very unusual.
When do we get the part of the story that says” Despite periodic regional droughts all over the world, which always occur somewhere at any given time, the world remains very well fed with record or near record crop yields and harvests. Famines, which have historically occurred with regularity somewhere in the world, are nearly unheard of in recent years. Even with a record number of people on the Earth, and fewer than ever of them engaged in actually producing any food at all, people the world over are generally much better fed than ever in history, with people in even formerly destitute countries growing fat!”
Well,. when?

Filippo Turturici
Reply to  Phil R
August 24, 2015 1:27 am

Sorry, but you are wrong: only Spain (but not Atlantic coast) and South France, among them, have a Mediterranean type of climate. We can add a spot in North Italy around Genoa, where winters are mild and July is usually a dry month, but that’s all. E.g. summer is the wettest season in Italian Alps.
But on the overall discussion we agree, as far as I know there was no e.g. water shortage of any kind. Many areas, like North Italy, came from a couple of exceptionally rainy years (and winter 2014 was a record-breaking for snowfalls in Italian Alps) with a rainy 2014 summer, so while the summer drought can be felt somehow (dry greens, bad corn harvest, good winegrapes etc.) it was not a so big problem. And anyway, it is now over!

Ric Haldane
August 21, 2015 2:52 pm

Good to see they have used some models. Now they just need to apply a good Hockey Stick.

Reply to  Ric Haldane
August 21, 2015 7:17 pm

Probably started adapting the climastrology models to “drought” and then “adjusting” rainfall to match.

August 21, 2015 3:06 pm

I am living in north of Brittany, west of France, where there is a big red spot. I’m pretty surprised to discover that I’m living in drought conditions. It’s true that june was pretty nice and warm. But july was awful : sun seen once or twice per week, rain, wind, low temperature (at most 20°C, most often 15°). I recover water from my house’s roof : tanks are full. They were empty at the end of june. And august is so far not better. South of Brittany was affected by some drought in july but it is now over.

Gary Pearse
August 21, 2015 3:08 pm

Probably it would be categorized as a balmy, good beer drinking summer, like we generally get across Canada in July and August (although the last couple of years have been comparatively chilly). But gee, the worst since 2003! I’ll bet there were some beauties 20,000yrs ago when the air was very dry but a tad nippy over Europe and N.America.

Leo Morgan
August 21, 2015 3:11 pm

The fools! Didn’t they realise that if only they stopped emitting carbon, they’d abolish all flood and drought? Oh wait, that only happens in the opium dreams of the criminally insane. Oh well, its still worth doing, because Gaia will love us being powered by rainbows and unicorn farts, which between them provide the same as wind and solar. And for the dark times when the wind doesn’t blow, and there’s no unicorns or rainbows about, we could replace fossil fuels with human slavery. After all, each tonne only produces enough energy for ten years of human labour. Enough serfs and we’ll live happily ever after in a clean shiny drought free world, where everybody loves everybody, and Greece loans us money. What’s the downside?

Reply to  Leo Morgan
August 21, 2015 3:48 pm

Well put Leo. My computer model (words written in a computer program eg Word that make a certain claim) shows an undeniable correlation between current CO2 levels and the end of slavery. If we genuinely want to save the planet we will have to reverse that!

August 21, 2015 3:14 pm

I was sent to Belgium in 1951 and worked/lived initially in Liege, later in Bruxelles. I found it to be a beautiful country with an appalling climate– endless rain and drizzell and fog, so I requested a move and was able to get transferred to Rome for the next four years. What a delightful change at that time! Now Rome is [a mess] and if I were still there, I might request a transfer back to Belgium to enjoy sunshine for a change!

Reply to  the1pag
August 21, 2015 3:24 pm

Why does it say Now Rome is me? What I wrote is “Now Rome is a mess.”

Margaret Smith
Reply to  the1pag
August 21, 2015 3:35 pm

Why does it say Now Rome is me? What I wrote is “Now Rome is a mess.”
That’s happened to us all, sometimes with hilarious results. Yours is very funny and had me wondering what you meant.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  the1pag
August 21, 2015 3:54 pm

Good thing to have written on your gravestone.

August 21, 2015 3:28 pm

I wonder why the Commission is not equally concerned about snow remaining in Scotland almost all the way through the summer.

Reply to  JimS
August 22, 2015 4:43 am

You should not tell them; they might conclude that the global warming is causing an ice age to come, and you’d to stop heating with coal.

Jan D.
August 21, 2015 3:28 pm

Allow me to add few information from a hydrologist from Czech Republic. This year was a serious drought here. It is comparable but more severe than 2003 (when speaking about streaming flows) and probably equal to 1947 event. Until now, it has been a one year event not affecting water supply (thanks to reservoirs). If you are interested, look at following low flow discharge time series of Elbe River in Děčín of app. 51 000 km2 representing majority of CZ teritory. Keep in mind that the series is affected by reservoirs construction after 1954.

Reply to  Jan D.
August 22, 2015 2:41 am

Drat. I should have waited two years. In 2013 I spent some time by the River Elbe in Germany. My hotel was only partly open as it had been flooded a few months previously. And the river pleasure boats were only going do far as the river was so high they could not get under the bridges.

Filippo Turturici
Reply to  Jan D.
August 24, 2015 1:32 am

Also in Slovakia June and July were very dry, but the drought is not so bad as in e.g. 2012 and 1947, where a dry hot summer followed a dry cold winter. Are you sure that in 2012 was not the same in Czech Republic? In Slovakia it is now over, as in North Italy and other European regions: did you not have any rain in the last week? I mean, not just a shower, but a series of rainy days (also with thunderstorms).

August 21, 2015 3:33 pm

According to the Crutem4 not only European but the global temperatures are dominated by two N. Atlantic, one Pacific, one Indo-Pacific and one solar component
4-5 years: ENSO
9.1 years: N. Atlantic SST (AMO)
21.5 years: Solar magnetic field (Hale cycle)
26.6 years: Asian monsoon
60.2 years: N. Atlantic SST (AMO), caution there are 164 years of data; 60 years is on the border of acceptable certainty.

August 21, 2015 3:54 pm

If a measly 2 months qualifies as a drought (which I doubt) then why not 2 weeks? Or 2 days? Or even 2 hours?
That way we could have several droughts in a month, or a week, or a day.
Sounds a lot more dangerous.

Jay Hope
Reply to  Jon
August 22, 2015 3:37 pm

After two days of relatively warm weather in the UK, they call it a heatwave. So a couple of weeks without a lot of rain is now a drought. Really makes a lot of sense.

August 21, 2015 3:54 pm

At this point what does it matter ?!

August 21, 2015 4:19 pm

Yes, it is true about drought, in Slovakia at my place it was not raining from end of June, till around 15th August. And it was hot. For sure I don’t remember so many days with temperature over 30C during summer and met office is saying, that it is first time ever to have around 30 days over 30C . I was there it was 38.5C on thermometer outside of my house. With 45% humidity you can compare it to Death Valley 46C…
First tomatoes in my garden started to ripe and be red on 15th August. I remember previous years we were picking red tomatoes whole July. Same story with my mom complaining that tomatoes are late this year on the other end of country. And tomatoes like and need hot weather, they are growing best in Spain where is easily over 40C… So the sum of hot days from May till August doesn’t look good for tomatoes.
According met office, there were some days in July where on some places absolute record for lowest temperature was broken. It was around 1.2C.
Yesterday I noticed that there was 3C morning temperature in Poprad, city under High Tatra mountains, coldest city in country, but it is August…

Reply to  Peter
August 21, 2015 11:48 pm
Reply to  ren
August 22, 2015 5:14 pm

Just yesterday I got picture from Slovakia, meter in empty kids pool. 14cm of water. That was 140mm precipitation in 4 days. My place is in driest place in Slovakia, in rain shadow of Carpathian Mountains. With annual average amount of precipitation 500mm. So that was about drought in Europe. Got quarter of year precipitation in 4 days…
Greetings from California.

Filippo Turturici
Reply to  Peter
August 24, 2015 1:37 am

I lived 3 years in Nitra, I think that 2012 was even worse: for sure it was worse for drought, since between January and October weather was very sunny and pretty dry. But also the summer was long and very hot, maybe this year it was more concentrated in the middle of the season (early June, all July and early August), but in 2012 I remember very well a “Mediterranean” August and dry, hot weather going on to early October. Now it is anyway over, I was in Nitra in the middle of the week, and they have got a lot of rain together with cool temperatures. Maybe there will be some warm weather back at the end of the month, but just a few days.

August 21, 2015 4:29 pm

For anyone who has seen Central Australia, the application of the term term ‘drought’ for anywhere in Europe is ludicrous. ‘Dry period’, maybe, but ‘drought’, no. As for ‘drought in Kent’, spare me.

Phil B.
Reply to  Nicholas Tesdorf
August 21, 2015 9:38 pm

Being from Australia I am always bemused by European (particularly UK) news outlets that get all worked up over a week of 25C and “only” 15mm of rainfall, in the middle of summer.
It’s comparable (actually, slightly better than) the current winter conditions at my house and I’ve had to mow the lawn twice this week it’s growing so fast.

August 21, 2015 4:30 pm

And I had to escape Norway and seek climate refugee for a month in The Netherlands , its week 3 and im finally dried up , from 1 November 2014 till march 31 2015 we had a record of 2177 mm rain / around 6 ft of rain.
And way more to come i,m afraid.

richard verney
Reply to  William Fox
August 21, 2015 10:33 pm

In Southern Spain, there are quite a few Norwegian climate refugees, including my in laws.
When my wife moved to England, she often use to comment that the thing she missed most was the lack of seasons. Of course, in some parts of Norway they get all 4 seasons in 1 day!

Ian Magness
August 21, 2015 4:51 pm

This gives me another chance to post “does anyone who actually live in Britain recognise this drivel?”
Look at Britain – apparently we have areas of drought on the south coast. Err, except we don’t. It’s only been slightly drier than average in the south and much of the rest of Britain has had a washout summer, especially in Scotland where, as many have pointed out, snow has never left the Cairngorms fully.
I love it when these political bodies publish nonsense that is so easily invalidated.

Mike Edwards
Reply to  Ian Magness
August 22, 2015 1:14 am

Ian, sorry to disappoint you – but there were parts of the south coast of England that were in a drought until very recently – in exactly the places shown in the map. I live in one of them. Somehow the area north of Southampton managed to avoid every set of rain and storms that affected other parts of England in June and July – I remember one evening when Bournemouth got flooded by a set of storms while we had only a couple of spots of rain. Fortunately, we have had some decent rain in the last couple of weeks.

August 21, 2015 4:54 pm

1538-1541 seems to have been the real doozie for drought in Europe. It passed. The climate changed, doncha know.

Reply to  mosomoso
August 22, 2015 12:33 pm

moso squared
‘The climate changed, doncha know’.
Well, sincerely, the science is, ah, “settled”.
it is not possible that climate changed in the Sixteenth Century – or at any time before the 1950s.
Ice Ages, the Carboniferous (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian for our friend in N. America) – all invariant – until the hockey-schtick.
Mods – of c o u r s e the blooming (!) climate changed.
It’s what the climate does . . .

August 21, 2015 5:01 pm

Definition of drought in UK
A drought is usually defined as an extended period of weather (usually around 3 weeks) where less than a third of the usual precipitation falls.
Definition of drought in Australia
Drought in Australia is defined by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology as rainfall over a three-month period being in the lowest decile of what has been recorded for that region in the past
Comments by Jim Sickman, Uni of California
Climate variability in California is extreme in relation to more mesic zones
In the context of century to millennial scale records of precipitation, our society overuses the term drought
Overuse of the term gives society a false impression of California’s hydrology and obscures the fact that water shortages are driven principally by human demand and are a near-permanent condition
Depends what your vegetation is used to, and how you use your water

Juan Slayton
August 21, 2015 5:16 pm

…sectors such as…viticulture…benefited from the unusual drought conditions….

Robert Ballard
Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 21, 2015 5:46 pm

Preference for the rare and scarce vintage gives the wine (from higher sugar grapes ) a pricing premium.

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 21, 2015 6:08 pm

yup vines don’t like wet soils and love good weather and drier conditions. it means more sun thus better grapes to produce wine.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
August 21, 2015 10:31 pm

Wine growers don’t like rain when the fruit are ripening.
Humidity encourages fungal diseases

Frederik Michiels
August 21, 2015 6:06 pm

there we go! i live in the so called “drought impacted region”.
Okay it did rain not that much, but drought? dunno it’s still a very long way to go to equal what the years 1947 and 1976 did throw at us.(that was in my opinion a real drought), Also where i live we had thunderstorms that impacted coastal belgium only three times, so we still had more rain then elsewhere.
we have a very nice summer one for the books of “beautifull summer, but these are rare indeed to remember a similar nice summer we had to go back to 2003…
it is true that some regions can encounter for european standards “drought conditions” (these conditions are not the same as for in California as we have a wetter climate here), but the issue that happened here is that most rain in summer comes from thunderstorms (summer months in Belgium are also the wettest months of the year). and you bet thunderstorms were more local this year then they generally are.
but drought? hmmmm not really

August 21, 2015 6:41 pm

Tell the POPE. Either he’s the man or not.

August 21, 2015 8:09 pm

“Rainfall is urgently needed in the coming months to offset the negative impacts of the 2015 drought situation.”
To quote Oscar Wilde: “When the Gods want to punish us they answer our prayers”.

August 21, 2015 8:18 pm

Couldn’t be the El Niño event that is currently underwriting the fire policy of north central Washington State just now (Okanogan – google it before it’s all burned up). Must be my Harley.

August 21, 2015 9:04 pm

I remember in PA just north of Philadelphia that the weather channels would report that we were in a drought. I was skeptical because I remembered some strong thunderstorms over the same time period. That is when I got a rain gauge to get my own data. It usually worked out that the precipitation was more normal than what was reported on media, after I had my own data. This is probably why I am skeptical of the government data now and never accepted the global warming scare. I was in the Navy and know from that that government data is not reliable…

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  J. Philip Peterson
August 24, 2015 5:38 am

it all depends where the station is located. see my comment: for official recording (uccle) July was dry, even very dry, but 50 miles further there was local flooding paired with the thunderstorms.
if i would have set a pluviometer here i am sure i would have recorded a “normal july value” but the one in uccle just 50 miles further that was not hit by these thunderstorms would have an “abnormally dry july”.
especially in summer here rain can really vary from ‘normal’ to ‘dry’ on a distance of a few miles due to the nature of the rain and it’s type (mainly local thunderstorms with downpours)…
so yes it is good to be sceptic: you can’t say what goes on for a region just based on one weather station.

richard verney
August 21, 2015 10:40 pm

Seriously though, in Southern Spain these past couple of years it has been very dry. There have been periods between January and June with only a few days rain and none of which has been particularly heavy. The last couple of years, they have not had the heavy autumn rain.
That said, it has not been that hot these past two years. 2003 was of course a hot year, and 2012 was quite hot, but this year, late May and June have been warmer than average, but as from about the second week of July, it has been cooler than average.

August 21, 2015 10:56 pm

Got of Skype with my brother a day ago, Drought? he said? Typical dutch summer weather, 2-3 days of “warm” (27-30 C) followed by a system that, as usual drenched Holland with t-storms , hail and small flooding which in Holland seems to be easy to happen ( being ~ 10 m below sea level in 1/3rd of the nation. There also seems to be no mention in these reports that Holland is roughly speaking about a 100 miles wide(E-W) and a 150 miles “tall” (N-S) in other words as far as weather is concerned it is a blib on any radar and flatter than a pancake, storm systems are fast, occasionally violent because of that, no mountains to break storms up and the North Sea is not much of a break either. There are other geographical problems involved but that would take a lot more space to explain. But the Dutch know them! Drought in the BeNeLux? I seriously doubt it. Those countries have more water then they can deal with, what a joke! They more than likely love a dry spell !

John V. Wright
August 21, 2015 10:58 pm

Well said Mike, Breton 22 and Ian Magness! It may have been a little drier than normal in Central Europe but, for the record, the UK has had another cold, wet, miserable summer. Yes, I know, weather isn’t climate but once again we are having a crap summer. It has been COLD for months in the UK. We had a couple of days of decent weather when the alarmists shrieked about the hottest day evaaaah (at Heathrow airport, measured next to a jet engine on the baking Tarmac) but apart from that it has, once again, been COLD and WET.
It is almost 7am on Saturday morning as I write. Mid-August. The height of the British summer. And guess what? Yes, it is RAINING. If you live in the UK it is easy to understand the research that points to a mini Ice Age on the way. In fact, the walarmists have been unusually quiet here for a few years because it is SO BLOODY COLD. And wet. All the time. So anyone going on about global warming are likely to have their arse kicked.
Anyway, sod this. I’m flying to Barbados on Thursday in search of actual sunshine. And the EU Bureau of Money Draining Idiotic Climate Crap or whatever they are called can go and fuqu themselves…

August 21, 2015 11:08 pm

There were some days in California this past summer in which the record high precipitation for the date was set.
In numerous instances, the old record was broken by infinity percent.

Village Idiot
August 21, 2015 11:42 pm

I’ll say it before someone else does, as is the custom here:
“Ohhh! I see they got out the scary red color” 😉

Village Idiot
Reply to  Berényi Péter
August 22, 2015 1:28 pm

Your map is rubbish, Berényi! Rain on Monday? Not according to my local weather forecast

Ivor Ward
August 22, 2015 1:00 am

I’m in Southern Brittany. All my rainwater tanks are full. More rain forecast for this afternoon.

August 22, 2015 1:02 am

Harvest in England is phenomenal. I should know, I’m driving a conbine harvester.

Sandy In Limousin
August 22, 2015 1:12 am

Wow, since 2003, that long? It’s in the lifetime of some of my grandchildren!
In this region and neighbouring Dordogne and Poitou-Charante there have been drought restrictions – hosepipe bans etc. We have had a dry spring and summer including a heatwave in early July no rain whatsoever for about 8 weeks, unusually no thunderstorms . However since mid-July things are back to normal and all the fields have changed from brown to green. Just before the reversion to normal there was an item on BFMTV on the drought situation, I’m not sure if the French government appointed a Minister For Drought.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
August 22, 2015 10:24 am

The same applies in Burgundy, Sandy.
The heatwave started at the end of June and we have had maximum temperatures in the mid-30s ever since except for the last week of July when there was a little respite and enough rain to fill the water butt.
Rain is forecast for the next two days but Meteo France is forecasting temperatures back in the 30s again from Wednesday and no rain for the following ten days.
I’m sorry that it’s been a piss awful summer in England but oddly enough England is not the same thing as Europe, an attitude which is one reason I no longer live there.
Here we have had temperatures and drought conditions and watering restrictions as severe as anything that we have had since 2003. Fact. Whether that is worth making a song and daance about is another matter altogether.

Reply to  Sandy In Limousin
August 22, 2015 12:44 pm

Gosh, your grandchildren won’t know what rain is!
I trust that if the French government appoint a Minister For Drought he or she will be a former football referee.
Worked for Jim Callaghan!

August 22, 2015 1:24 am

And can I point out that we’re suffering the hottest morning since last night?

Robin Hewitt
August 22, 2015 1:26 am

Southern England, sunshine and showers, soil perfectly moist, air packed with nutritious CO2, son expects to be harvesting until October, lawn needs cutting every 5 minutes, everything lush and green wherever you look. France is 70 miles South from here, 70 miles to the East and everything in between, can it really be that different?

August 22, 2015 2:08 am

That’s cause all the European rain failed to Finland. It was the worst summer in my memory. And now when work started, we have had two weeks of sun shine.

August 22, 2015 2:51 am

ONE of the worst in the last 12 YEARS?
Colour me unimpressed!

Reply to  Paul Homewood
August 22, 2015 5:14 am

This is really what I tried to say in many words. *blush*

Keith Willshaw
August 22, 2015 5:15 am

Looking at UK rainfall on the Met Office site for the last 7 months I see the following
Month Percentage of average rainfall
Jan 136
Feb 101
Mar 105
Apr 69
May 154
Jun 77
Jul 149
This is a funny sort of drought.

August 22, 2015 6:04 am

Spending time in Prague – the river is normal, and nobody among my friends has mentioned a drought and its not particularly hot. Travelling through the Alps and across northern Italy last week, the Alpine rivers were in full flow (maybe snowmelt!), and in south west France, it was green when normally yellow-brown. The Rhone was full. Like someone above said – if you are a Drought Observatory and funds are short, you don’t go looking for green patches.

Reply to  Peter Taylor
August 22, 2015 8:15 am

Here in the South West its pretty wet.

Leo Morgan
August 22, 2015 9:43 am

I recall seeing a Bangladeshi on television a few years ago. He responded to being told that Global Warming meant they were now in a permanent drought by expressing scepticism that man had such power over the weather. This was just before the Bangladeshi floods.

Roland Hirsch
August 22, 2015 9:54 am

We lived in Oxford, England in 1975-6 and visited many parts of England and Scotland. It was a real drought for almost the entire period, and especially the spring and summer of 1976. Our week in Scotland, including three days around Skye, had no rain! My Aunt in London reported that the soil dried out so much that the apartment building she lived in had cracks in the walls and foundation due to the shrinking soil.
Nothing like this is happening now in Europe. It is has been quite dry (we saw this in the Stuttgart region of Germany last week, just before a wide-area rainstorm reached the region) but not to the level of past years.
References for the U.K. in 1975-76:
Abstract for the last reference:
The drought of 1975-76 that affected not only the British Isles but extended to much of the continent of Europe, became severe only after the exceptionally dry winter of 1975/76 when within most of England and Wales negligible recharge to aquifers occurred. Thus by the spring of 1976 when seasonal underground storage should have been at its peak, aquifer storage was already at a very low level. Since, however, ground-water levels in aquifers are controlled by local and variable base level drainage conditions, the extent to which further falls in level could occur under natural unconfined conditions was limited so that by autumn 1976 in most places levels were lower than those previously recorded by only a few metres. Within confined aquifers having lower storativities, effects were usually more severe and falls in level below those previously recorded of more than 10 m occurred. Had it not been for the exceptionally wet winter of 1974/75 when recharge to aquifers was generally well above average, groundwater levels in the autumn of 1976 might have been considerably lower. The authors have been unable to discern any long-term adverse effects on British aquifers in which by the early spring of 1977 groundwater levels had, in almost every known case, recovered to higher than average levels except in areas with levels lowered previously by over-abstraction. No permanent ill effects on groundwater quality have so far become apparent.

Reply to  Roland Hirsch
August 23, 2015 12:28 pm

There is a connection between California/Pacific Northwest and the UK in their climate patterns. California also had drought between 1975/77. There is much more evidence for this connection in historical records and long term temp/rainfall studies.

paul wright
August 22, 2015 11:24 am

I live in Troyes SE OF paris. I have lived here for 15 years and this summer can be described as a drought for this area. Since mid-May there has been 4 short periods of gentle rain and temperatures around 30 centigrade. So the headline is basically correct. But I accept that this is just weather. We have had two mild winters but I fear for the next one. Mother Nature may decide that PARIS 2015 needs a reminder that it is she who controls the climate and not IPCC.

Frederik Michiels
Reply to  paul wright
August 24, 2015 5:47 am

funny i have that same feeling: a unusual wet autumn and a winter with a severe cold wave…..

August 22, 2015 11:34 am
Reply to  mwhite
August 23, 2015 1:20 pm

This is something I said on 7/15 “There should be a sideways step coming in about 10 days from now, where the sea ice trend may even increase for several days and remain close to flat for up to 10 days.This could lead to a longer sideways trend that begins around the 3rd week of August and lasts until the end of September. Examples of what I am referring to would be the years 1979, 1988, 1997, and 2007.”.
I believe that this sideways stepping of the Arctic sea ice is now underway and the process likely has much to do with the early cooling which is now evident in many locations around the NH. In the years 1988, 1997, and 2007 the stepping takes place on the downhill side of an El Nino or in a descending La Nina. In the 4 similar years mentioned above this process will start somewhere around the 222nd day up to the 230th day of the year. This year it appears to have started on the 224th day. It is now day 233, and this pattern runs up to day 271 approximately. The sea ice area was 3.587 million, rounded off. If the sideways stepping in Arctic sea ice is a continuing pattern, then the sea ice area minimum for 2015 should end around 3.30 million.

Reply to  goldminor
August 25, 2015 8:23 am

The above comment is based on what Cryosphere Today shows on their site. I thought that I had already made this comment, but it must have got lost.

Reply to  goldminor
August 25, 2015 8:27 am

Plus, I also thought that I had said that “the sea ice area was 3.587 on the 224th day”. Ten days later, day 234, the current sea ice area is 3.572 million km/sq.

Reply to  goldminor
August 25, 2015 1:59 pm

Day 235, the Antarctic sea ice moves +0.045 to reach 3.617 million km/sq. It is how slightly higher than on day 224.

Reply to  goldminor
August 25, 2015 2:09 pm

“Arctic sea ice” not “Antarctic sea ice” in the last comment.

August 22, 2015 11:36 am
Weather for the last week of August.

August 22, 2015 3:56 pm
August 22, 2015 6:43 pm

I am living surrounded by alarmists who hate me because I do not agree with accepted science. I am old enough to remember the junior senator Eugene McCarthy. I feel as if we are in the same type of environment. Thank you WUWT for helping me keep the faith.

August 23, 2015 12:45 am

..Satellite imagery and modelling revealed that the drought….
would this be the same satellite imagery that identified WMD, etc? and the same modelling that has produced the IPCC GHG warming projections!
And how come this is the first mention of any drought? I’ve heard nothing on MSM, which is unusual (especially for the BBC – which, btw, is not renewing its contract with the Met Office). Could it be that this is another alarmist claim just before Paris?

August 23, 2015 3:46 am

No problem, just convert the channel tunnel into a water conduit, and sell them the UK’s excess rainfall.

August 23, 2015 2:18 pm

Eastern Europe, Romania: more than 2 weeks of orange and red code alarm for extreme heat, severe drought in most of the country, then, in just 24 hours, temperatures dropped with 15 Celsius degrees and we had hard rainfall, leading to temporary flooding for some parts of many cities/region. I wonder what’s influencing the weather to change so rapidly from an extreme to another? I know that oceans govern climate ( and I use to read news on climate change,but I think that human intervention over oceans is making felt its presence in this way also.

August 24, 2015 5:51 pm

Geoengineering And The Collapse Of Earth 2014 – THIS MUST BE SHARED!

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