Is Western European drought linked to La Niña?

Posted: July 27, 2022 by oldbrew in Cycles, ENSO, Natural Variation, Temperature, weather

Drought in Europe

Amid talk of ‘renewed focus on climate change’ (see below), we note similar drought conditions have happened before at times of La Niña. Two articles discussing the French drought refer to 1976, 2011 and 2022 as the three worst in recent history (similar to England). These were also years of significant spells of La Niña:
1975–1976 La Niña event
The 2010–2012 La Niña event was one of the strongest on record
La Niña Climate Cycle Could Last Into 2023, According to UN

– – –
‘France struggles with drought over punishing summer of heat’ says

From farmers to fishermen, boat owners to ordinary households, communities across France are struggling with a severe drought that has seen an unprecedented number of regions affected by water restrictions this summer.

Like much of western Europe, the country is going through a punishing hot season of record temperatures and forest fires that have led to renewed focus on climate change.

After the third-driest spring on record and drought-like conditions since, rivers and reservoirs are running low nationwide, leading to increasingly severe water restrictions.
= = =
From another article yesterday: ‘Record number of French regions face water restrictions’, the environment ministry said in a statement.

France experienced its third-driest spring on record this year after 2011 and 1976, according to the national weather service, with rainfall 45 percent below average levels.

Two severe heatwaves in May and latterly in July—when temperatures soared above 40 Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit)—have further reduced water levels while searing farmland and forests.

Sources here and here.

Wikipedia’s La Niña timeline:

  1. […] Is Western European drought linked to La Niña? | Tallbloke’s Talkshop ( […]

  2. oldbrew says:

    England’s driest July since 1911 and the second since records began
    Wed, 27 July 2022

    Forecasters said it has not just been a dry July, but figures also show England has had the driest eight-month period from November 2021 to June 2022 since 1976, when the country struggled with severe drought.

    The report says ‘records began in 1836’.
    – – –

    July 2022: a dry run for UK’s future climate?
    Posted on 27 July, 2022 by Met Office Press Office

    When it’s dry, the alarm is drought. When it’s wet, it’s flooding 🙄

  3. P.A.Semi says:

    The word “punishing” summer of heat is more than right, since this is God’s punishment for Europe’s Fascism and support of Fascist Ukraine in its terrorist war against its own (former) citizens of Donbass…
    The sand-storm in March clearly traced letter after letter the word “Fascist” over Europe, and the very-unusual storm around June 11, that brought heat-wave from Africa into Europe around June 16-19, also seemed to trace the word “Fascist” over Europe, somehow less resolved than the sand-storm in March… (And while the polar ozone-rich air of that June storm could have been possibly brought and kept southward by some ha a r p -like human tool, making the clouds trace an inscription is far beyond human possibilities…)
    The pressure low west of Spain that brought present heat-wave now in July seems somehow more natural than the June one…
    The harvest in Europe will be probably damaged by this? While in Russia the wheat harvest is expected to be better than usually… And it’s not a coincidence, it’s a consequence…

    I somehow apologize for bringing politics into a scientifically oriented forum, but this “punishing” heat has its reasons not only in natural cycles…


    [reply] sandstorms write in English?

  4. oldbrew says:

    Long hot summers to be the UK norm says Met Office climate information chief.

    We shall see, after the current La Niña series ends 🤔

  5. P.A.Semi says:

    Re: sandstorms write in English?

    Sandstorm itself does not write… The LORD God writes quite often in Solar clouds or magnetic field, usually in English, and seldom in Earth’s weather… (In English, because it is simpler, less letters for same word than other languages I know… If there could be something written in Chinese I cannot recognize…)

    The sandstorm in March in Europe, which caused Germans to scrap sand from car wind-shields and front glasses, started with a shape of conspicuous F letter, and continued probably the word Fazcist:

    And it was caused by a pressure low west of Spain…

    Similar happened in June, causing quite huge heat-wave instead:

    How pressure lows west of Spain cause heat-waves is shown in this collage from ECMWF data in perspective projection centered 10°E, 60°N, showing 850hPa air temperature, isobars and wind arrows:

    These images in better resolution, a similar collage from ECMWF data for July heat-wave, and a video of unusual persistent pressure low in June consisting of cold ozone-rich polar air can be downloaded from this provisional page:

    Other images from ECMWF data can be downloaded from my page at – there are images since 2015, similar projection over America and over EU…
    (If you would plan to bulk download larger amount of these images or underlying data-files, rather contact me and I may send them in ZIP format… No problem downloading few recent images daily…)


  6. oldbrew says:

    JULY 28, 2022
    W. Mediterranean hit by ‘exceptional’ heatwave: experts

    “Since at least 2003 (marine heatwaves) have become more common and in future they will last longer, cover more sea, and be more intense and severe”
    – – –
    Compare the timeline of La Niña (see post above) in the 22 years before 2000 with the 22 years since. The current one may well extend into this winter according to forecasts.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Interesting research paper…

    Multicentennial megadrought in northern Europe coincided with a global El Niño–Southern Oscillation drought pattern during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (2009)

    Here we present the first European dendroclimatic precipitation reconstruction that extends through the alternating climate phases of the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age. We show that northern Europe underwent a severe precipitation deficit during the Medieval Climate Anomaly, which was synchronous with droughts in various ENSO-sensitive regions worldwide, while the subsequent centuries during the Little Ice Age were markedly wetter. We attribute this drought primarily to an interaction between the ENSO and the North Atlantic Oscillation, and to a lesser (or negligible) degree to an interaction between the ENSO and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

    Click to access 2009_Helama_et_al_Geology_vol_37.pdf

    Extract from the paper:
    In addition, SST-forced paleoclimate models, along with instrumental observations, have provided evidence that La Niña–like conditions in the equatorial Pacific may induce a circulation pattern over the North Atlantic that is typical of a positive NAO phase (Fraedrich, 1994; Emile-Geay et al., 2007; Graham et al., 2007). A positive NAO may also have been achieved and enhanced due to radiative forcing, involving changing tropospheric temperature gradients, by a downward control from the stratosphere (Shindell et al., 1999, 2003; Rind et al., 2004). Given the negative association between the NAO index and spring precipitation in the region, these mechanisms could well be expected to have caused the medieval drought, which our dendroclimatic evidence has demonstrated. [bold added]

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