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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-223
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
30 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
On the drought in the Balearic Islands during the hydrological year 2015–2016
Climent Ramis, Romualdo Romero, Victor Homar, Sergio Alonso, Agustí Jansà, and Arnau Amengual Meteorology Group, Department of Physics, University of the Balearic Islands- 07122 Palma, Spain
Abstract. During the hydrological year 2015–16 (September to August) a severe drought affected the Balearic Islands, with substantial consequences (alleviated partially by desalination plants) on water availability for consumption from reservoirs and aquifers and also on the vegetation cover. In particular, a plague of Xilella fastidiosa reached a relatively alarming level for the case of the almond and olive trees. The expansion of this infestation could be attributed to, or at least favored by, the extreme drought. In this paper we analyze this anomalous episode in terms of the corresponding water balance in comparison with the balance obtained from long-term climatological data. It is shown that the drought was the result of a lack of winter precipitation, the lowest in 43 years, which led to a shortage of water storage in the soil. In several meteorological stations analyzed, evaporation was greater than precipitation during all the months of the year. In terms of attribution, it is found that during the 2015–16 winter the atmospheric circulation over the North Atlantic was largely westerly and intense, with high values of the NAO index that were reflected in high pressures over the Iberian Peninsula and the western Mediterranean.

Citation: Ramis, C., Romero, R., Homar, V., Alonso, S., Jansà, A., and Amengual, A.: On the drought in the Balearic Islands during the hydrological year 2015–2016, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-223, in review, 2017.
Climent Ramis et al.
Climent Ramis et al.

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Short summary
During the hydrological year 2015–16 (September to August) a severe drought affected the Balearic Islands, with substantial consequences on water availability. In this paper we analyze this anomalous episode in terms of the corresponding water balance. It is shown that the drought was the result of a lack of winter precipitation, the lowest in the last 43 years. In several meteorological stations analyzed, evaporation was greater than precipitation during all the months of the year.
During the hydrological year 2015–16 (September to August) a severe drought affected the...
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