Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-209
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-209

  26 Apr 2021

26 Apr 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Drought impact links to meteorological drought indicators and predictability in Spain

Herminia Torelló-Sentelles1 and Christian Franzke2,3 Herminia Torelló-Sentelles and Christian Franzke
  • 1School of Integrated Climate System Science, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, 20148, Germany
  • 2Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science (IBS), Busan, 46241, Republic of Korea
  • 3Pusan National University, Busan, 46241, Republic of Korea

Abstract. Drought affects many regions worldwide and future climate projections imply that drought severity and frequency will increase. Hence, the impacts of drought on the environment and society will also increase considerably. Monitoring and early warning systems for drought rely on several indicators; however, assessments on how these indicators are linked to impacts are still lacking. Here, we explore the links between different drought indicators and drought impacts within six sub- regions in Spain. We used impact data from the European Drought Impact Report Inventory database, and provide a new case study to evaluate these links. We provide evidence that a region with a small sample size of impact data can still provide useful insights regarding indicator-impact links. As meteorological drought indicators, we use the Standardised Precipitation Index and the Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, as agricultural and hydrological drought indicators we use a Standardised Soil Water Index and, a Standardised Streamflow Index and a Standardised Reservoir Storage Index. We also explore the links between drought impacts and teleconnection patterns and surface temperature by conducting a correlation analysis and then test the predictability of drought impacts using a Random Forest model. Our results show meteorological indices are best linked to impact occurrences overall, and at long time scales between 15 and 33 months. However, we also find robust links for agricultural and hydrological drought indices, depending on the sub-region. The Arctic Oscillation, Western Mediterranean Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation at long accumulation periods (15 to 48 months), are top predictors of impacts in the northwest and northeast regions, the Community of Madrid, and the south regions of Spain respectively. We also find links between temperature and drought impacts. The Random Forest model produces skilful models for most sub- regions. When assessed using a cross-validation analysis, the models in all regions show precision, recall, or R2 values higher than 0.97, 0.62 and 0.68 respectively. Since we find the models to be skilful, we encourage other types of impact data to be used to investigate these links and to predict drought impacts.

Herminia Torelló-Sentelles and Christian Franzke

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-209', Veit Blauhut, 06 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-209', Claudia Teutschbein, 16 Jul 2021

Herminia Torelló-Sentelles and Christian Franzke

Herminia Torelló-Sentelles and Christian Franzke

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Short summary
Drought affects many regions worldwide and future climate projections imply that drought severity and frequency will increase. Hence, the impacts of drought on the environment and society will also increase considerably. Monitoring and early warning systems for drought rely on several indicators; however, assessments on how these indicators are linked to impacts are still lacking. Our results show meteorological indices are best linked to impact occurrences.