This report summarizes a year of drought events through the monitoring and forecasting activity of European (EDO) and Global (GDO) Drought Observatories, as part of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The period of interest spans from October 2019 to September 2020, during which several drought events of relevance and other minor events or intense dry spells were observed.
For the third consecutive year, unexpectedly dry conditions affected most of Europe. Central and northwestern European countries faced a robust dry spell during April and May (Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and most of the UK, the latter two recovered by August). On the southern Mediterranean coast, Algeria and Morocco experienced drought during late 2019 and early 2020. Across southern Africa, coming from long-lasting dry conditions, a suboptimal start of the rainy season 2019/20 made the situation critical over wide areas of Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Lesotho, and southern Mozambique. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States of America experienced intense drought over most of its western half during 2020. In September 2020, increasing drought conditions were present north of the Black Sea and Caucasus range (Ukraine and southern Russia).