Articles | Volume 23, issue 11
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 4583–4602, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-4583-2019
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 4583–4602, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-4583-2019

Research article 15 Nov 2019

Research article | 15 Nov 2019

Historic hydrological droughts 1891–2015: systematic characterisation for a diverse set of catchments across the UK

Lucy J. Barker et al.

Data sets

Historic Standardised Streamflow Index (SSI) using Tweedie distribution with standard period 1961–2010 for 303 UK catchments (1891–2015) L. J. Barker, K. A. Smith, C. Svensson, M. Tanguy, and J. Hannaford https://doi.org/10.5285/58ef13a9-539f-46e5-88ad-c89274191ff9

Historic reconstructions of daily river flow for 303 UK catchments (1891–2015) K. A. Smith, M. Tanguy, J. Hannaford, and C. Prudhomme https://doi.org/10.5285/f710bed1-e564-47bf-b82c-4c2a2fe2810e

Historic Gridded Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) based on temperature-based equation McGuinness-Bordne calibrated for the UK (1891–2015) M. Tanguy, C. Prudhomme, K. Smith, and J. Hannaford https://doi.org/10.5285/17b9c4f7-1c30-4b6f-b2fe-f7780159939c

HadUK-Grid gridded and regional average climate observations for the UK Met Office https://doi.org/10.5285/4dc8450d889a491ebb20e724debe2dfb

MIDAS Open: UK daily rainfall data, v201901 Met Office https://doi.org/10.5285/ec54d5e5288a4ebb8c7ad2a1ef6aec42

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Short summary
It is important to understand historic droughts in order to plan and prepare for possible future events. In this study we use the standardised streamflow index for 1891–2015 to systematically identify, characterise and rank hydrological drought events for 108 near-natural UK catchments. Results show when and where the most severe events occurred and describe events of the early 20th century, providing catchment-scale detail important for both science and planning applications of the future.