Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I found the above map via the European Drought Center, but the map itself is hosted at the EC Joint Research Center Institute for Environment and Sustainability.
The map is for Sunday 8th January 2012 and represents departure of soil moisture from normal conditions for that time and place. It is not a PDSI map: instead the -4 to 4 values are the number of standard deviations away from the 1990-2006 conditions (at each particular place and time of year). This is a relatively recent baseline and as such these anomaly figures will not be able to detect much global warming signal. In any case, it appears that Spain, and much of Italy, Greece, Eastern Europe are exceptionally dry for this time of year, while most of northern Europe is exceptionally wet. Apparently rainfall is inversely correlated with the 10 year sovereign bond yield!
There is also a forecast map for Jan 16th 2012 (ie next week):
This is based on a somewhat longer 1958-2001 baseline but tells a broadly similar story: much of the Mediterranean is expected to be very dry while northern Europe is wetter than normal.
The similarities with the pattern that has obtained in the US for the last year are striking: