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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-204
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-204
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Aug 2020

07 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

A revision of the Combined Drought Indicator (CDI) as part of the European Drought Observatory (EDO)

Carmelo Cammalleri1, Carolina Arias-Muñoz2, Paulo Barbosa1, Alfred de Jager1, Diego Magni3, Dario Masante3, Marco Mazzeschi4, Niall McCormick1, Gustavo Naumann1, Jonathan Spinoni1, and Jürgen Vogt1 Carmelo Cammalleri et al.
  • 1European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
  • 2Arhs Developments, Milan, Italy
  • 3Arcadia SIT, Vigevano, Italy
  • 4UniSystems Luxembourg Sàrl, Luxembourg

Abstract. Building on almost ten years of expertise and operational application of the Combined Drought Indicator (CDI), which is operationally implemented within the European Commission’s European Drought Observatory (EDO) for the purposes of early warning and monitoring of agricultural droughts in Europe, this paper proposes a revised version of the index. The CDI conceptualizes drought as a cascade process, where a precipitation shortage (WATCH stage) develops into a soil water deficit (WARNING stage), which in turn leads to stress for vegetation (ALERT stage). The main goal of the revised CDI proposed here, is to improve the indicator’s performance for those events that are currently not reliably represented, without drastically altering the modelling framework. This is achieved by means of two main modifications: (a) use of the previously occurring CDI value to improve the temporal consistency of the timeseries, (b) introduction of two temporary classes – namely, soil moisture and vegetation greenness – to avoid brief discontinuities in a stage. The efficacy of the modifications is tested by comparing the performances of the revised and currently implemented versions of the indicator, for actual drought events in Europe during the last 20 years. The revised CDI reliably reproduces the evolution of major droughts, out-performing the current version of the indicator, especially for long-lasting events. Since the revised CDI does not need supplementary input datasets, it is suitable for operational implementation within the EDO drought monitoring system.

Carmelo Cammalleri et al.

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Carmelo Cammalleri et al.

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Short summary
Building on almost ten years of expertise and operational application of the Combined Drought Indicator (CDI) for the monitoring of agricultural droughts in Europe within the European Commission’s European Drought Observatory (EDO), this paper proposes a revised version of the index. This paper shows that the proposed revised CDI reliably reproduces the evolution of major droughts, out-performing the current version of the indicator, especially for long-lasting events.
Building on almost ten years of expertise and operational application of the Combined Drought...
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