Understanding hydrological winter drought in Europe

Anne F. Van Loon, Henny A.J. Van Lanen, Hege Hisdal, Lena M. Tallaksen, Miriam Fendeková, Jacob Oosterwijk, Oliver Horvát, Andrej Machlica

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Development of droughts occurring in the winter season has not been widely studied before, although impacts on water resources can be extensive. Our objective is to increase understanding of the development of winter droughts in snow-affected regions by studying droughts in two catchments in Europe (Narsjø in Norway and Nedožery in Slovakia) using a conceptual rainfall-runoff model and the variable threshold level method. In these catchments, two types of winter droughts dominate, classified as: Type 1 winter droughts in cold climates, caused by late summer droughts that continue into winter, and Type 2 winter droughts in milder climates, which develop when snow cover disappears and precipitation is lower than normal. Both drought types have large deficits over a long period of time, but Type 1 droughts are relieved by the snow melt flood, while Type 2 winter droughts can continue into summer. Due to global warming, the occurrence of Type 2 winter droughts might increase in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Change
Subtitle of host publicationFacing Risks and Threats to Water Resources
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event6th World FRIEND Conference "Global Change: Facing Risks and Threats to Water Resources", FRIEND 2010 - Fez, Morocco
Duration: 25 Oct 201029 Oct 2010

Publication series

NameIAHS-AISH Publication
ISSN (Print)0144-7815


Conference6th World FRIEND Conference "Global Change: Facing Risks and Threats to Water Resources", FRIEND 2010


  • Drought analysis
  • HBV model
  • Norway
  • Slovakia
  • Snow
  • Winter drought


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