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Analysis of the extraordinary 2011/2012 drought in Croatia

Abstract

This paper presents a meteorological analysis of the recent 2011/2012 extreme drought which seriously affected the territory of Croatia. The drought event is put in the historical context by examining its severity in terms of duration, intensity and magnitude. The drought climatology is analysed by employing the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) on different time scales (1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 24 months) for five stations with a secular dataset (1901–2012). The most intense droughts had occurred during the 1920s, 1940s, 1950s and 1990s, as well as in the beginning of the 2010s. The 2011/2012 drought is characterised by extremely long duration in the continental region, with the highest magnitudes since the beginning of the twentieth century. Spatio-temporal evolution of the event is analysed by employing the data from additional 23 stations all over Croatia. The drought had started in February 2011 being intensified later, mainly by the lack of rainfall in November 2011 and March 2012. This happened due to two intense blocking episodes over Europe which resulted in dry northern flows over Croatia. A possible impact of large-scale circulation patterns was also investigated, indicating that the North Atlantic Oscillation and the East Atlantic/Western Russian Teleconnection patterns maintained dry conditions in the period from November 2011 to March 2012.

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Acknowledgments

Two anonymous referees are gratefully acknowledged for their in-depth review and valuable suggestions. This work has been supported in part by the Croatian Science Foundation under the project 2831 (CARE) and in part by the COST Action ES1106 and it is a contribution to the Hymex programme.

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Correspondence to Ksenija Cindrić.

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Cindrić, K., Telišman Prtenjak, M., Herceg-Bulić, I. et al. Analysis of the extraordinary 2011/2012 drought in Croatia. Theor Appl Climatol 123, 503–522 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-014-1368-8

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Keywords

  • Standardize Precipitation Index
  • Precipitation Amount
  • North Atlantic Oscillation
  • Drought Event
  • Precipitation Anomaly