EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comparing drought indicators and negative impacts for the 2018–19 Central European drought event

Anastasiya Shyrokaya1, Giuliano Di Baldassarre1, Gabriele Messori1, Ilias Pechlivanidis2, Florian Pappenberger3, and Hannah Cloke3
Anastasiya Shyrokaya et al.
  • 1Uppsala University, Department of Earth Sciences, Sweden (
  • 2SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), Sweden
  • 3ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), University of Reading, UK

Despite the scientific progress in drought forecasting, it remains challenging to accurately predict the corresponding impact of a drought event. This is due to the unexplored relationships between (multiple) drought indicators and the impacts across spatiotemporal scales. In this study, we unravel these relationships by analysing the impacts of the severe 2018-2019 drought event in Central Europe. We calculated the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and the Standardized Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI) over various accumulation periods, and related the indicators to losses from the European Drought Impact Report Inventory (EDII)1 with a focus on agriculture and water supply. An initial assessment was performed by correlating monthly time series of the drought indicators and the impact data at the EU NUTS1 region level. We further used a Random Forest Model to measure the predictive power of the drought indicators for those impacts.

Our findings reveal significant relationships between the drought indicators and the impacts over different accumulation periods. The analysis also detects region-specific and time-variant differences during the 2018–2019 Central European drought event. As such, our work provides a new framework to unravel the drought indicators-impacts dependencies. In addition, it emphasizes the need to leverage available impact data to increase the capacity to forecast the drought impacts.

1 Last retrieved January 2022

How to cite: Shyrokaya, A., Di Baldassarre, G., Messori, G., Pechlivanidis, I., Pappenberger, F., and Cloke, H.: Comparing drought indicators and negative impacts for the 2018–19 Central European drought event, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4218,, 2022.