EGU24-5040, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Links between heat waves, drought, and atmospheric circulation in Central Europe

Zuzana Bešťáková1, Ondřej Lhotka2,3, Jan Stryhal2, and Jan Kyselý1,2
Zuzana Bešťáková et al.
  • 1Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Water Resources and Environmental Modeling, Prague, Czechia (
  • 2Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 3Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

Heat waves and drought are phenomena associated with large negative impacts on society and environment. Their common features include increasing frequency and intensity in recent decades in many regions of Europe, as well as interconnectedness of the factors that contribute to their development. In this study, we evaluate links between heat waves and drought in Central Europe using E-OBS data and ERA-5 reanalysis in the 1979–2022 period. Heat waves are classified according to their 3-dimensional structure of positive temperature anomalies into near-surface, lower-tropospheric, higher-tropospheric, and omnipresent types. We show that the associations to soil moisture conditions and development of flash drought (based on the daily climatic water balance index) differ for the individual heat wave types; the links are most pronounced for near-surface heat waves, illustrating the compound nature of the heat-drought events. We also employ the Jenkinson–Collison classification to identify circulation types with significantly increased frequency during periods of heat waves and droughts, and study changes in their occurrence. The analysis contributes to better understanding of the interrelationships between drought, heat waves, atmospheric circulation and other driving mechanisms.

How to cite: Bešťáková, Z., Lhotka, O., Stryhal, J., and Kyselý, J.: Links between heat waves, drought, and atmospheric circulation in Central Europe, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5040,, 2024.