Monthly prediction of drought classes using log-linear models under the influence of NAO for early-warning of drought and water management

Elsa Moreira, Ana Russo, Ricardo M. Trigo

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Drought class transitions over a sector of Eastern Europe were modeled using log-linear models. These drought class transitions were computed from time series of two widely used multiscale drought indices, the Standardized Preipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) and the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), with temporal scales of 6 and 12 months for 15 points selected from a grid over the Prut basin in Romania over a period of 112 years (1902-2014). The modeling also took into account the impact of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), exploring the potential influence of this large-scale atmospheric driver on the climate of the Prut region. To assess the probability of transition among different drought classes we computed their odds and the corresponding confidence intervals. To evaluate the predictive capabilities of the modeling, skill scores were computed and used for comparison against benchmark models, namely using persistence forecasts or modeling without the influence of the NAO index. The main results indicate that the log-linear modeling performs consistently better than the persistence forecast, and the highest improvements obtained in the skill scores with the introduction of the NAO predictor in the modeling are obtained when modeling the extended winter months of the SPEI6 and SPI12. The improvements are however not impressive, ranging between 4.7 and 6.8 for the SPEI6 and between 4.1 and 10.1 for the SPI12, in terms of the Heidke skill score.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018



  • Drought classes
  • Log-linear modeling
  • North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)
  • Persistence
  • Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI)
  • Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)

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