A break or the end of the severe drought?

About 90 French departments were in a state of emergency due to extreme water shortage in early August 2022, after the driest July on record, at least since 1959. Fortunately, some rainfall has fallen since then, but the situation remains critical for a large part of the country according to the latest bulletin for drought from the Ministry of Ecological Transition (first figure). 

During the last week of September, numerical weather prediction models forecast high amounts of rainfall in France and in many other countries of Europe (second figure). This does not mean that drought will be immediately over, since the hydrological drought is still extreme, with less than 40 cm of liquid water in the first 2 m depth from the surface in the largest part of France. It will need much more rainfall in the following months for rivers and water reservoirs to return to their pre-summer state.

Data4Risk uses seasonal forecasting scenarios from global models to estimate the amount of rainfall in the following 3 months and the latest data show a promising end of the prolonged period of drought.