New UK drought data

The NERC UK Drought and Water Scarcity Programme will be releasing a number of hydro-meteorological datasets over the next 18 months together with interfaces for accessing and visualising data over the web and guidance for use of the data. For more information on these datasets, please email Matt Fry (

Historic hydro-meteorological data

  • Historic gridded Potential Evapotranspiration (PET), monthly and daily 5km grids, 1891-2015, based on temperatures [CEH]
  • Historic Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), 5km grid + catchments, 1862-2015 [CEH]
  • Enhanced historic rain gauge data, and updated 5km rainfall grids back to the 1860s [Met Office]. Expected April 2018.
  • Historic catchment average daily rainfall series for selected catchments, 1861-2015 [Met Office / CEH]. Expected April 2018.
  • Historic Standardised Precipitation Evaporation Index (SPEI), 5km grid + catchments, 1891-2015 [CEH]. Expected April 2018.
  • Reconstructed / modelled historic daily river flow series for gauged catchments from 3 models, 1891-2015: Grid-to-Grid [CEH] AirGR [CEH], Dynamic TopModel [University of Bristol]. Expected March 2018.
  • Reconstructed / modelled historic monthly gridded river flow and soil moisture for UK from the Grid-to-Grid model, 1km grid, 1891-2015 [CEH]. Expected March 2018.
  • Reconstructed historic groundwater level series for 50 boreholes, 1891-2015 [BGS]. Expected March 2018.
  • Historic drought indicators (SSI, SGI) from reconstructed streamflow and borehole records, 1891-2015 [CEH, BGS]. Expected March 2018.
  • Near real-time drought-related metrics

    The following drought-related metrics have been focussed on within the Drought and Water Scarcity programme, and could become accessible in near-real time should this be a requirement from users:

    • Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI), 5km grid + catchments, monthly [CEH] – already available via the CEH Drought Portal
    • Standardised Streamflow Index (SSI), selected gauging stations, monthly [CEH]
    • Standardised Groundwater Level Index (SGI), selected boreholes, monthly [BGS]
    • Hydro-ecological drought metrics, under development within the projects [CEH]

    Climate change projection data

    Probabilistic time series based on the Weather at Home (W@H) event set (100 ensemble members for each time slice) for a baseline period (1974-2004) and two future periods (2020-2049 and 2070-2099) under the RCP8.5 high emission scenario.

    • Full gridded climate outputs including PET, daily / monthly on ~25km grid (University of Oxford)
    • (Dependent on user requirements) Catchment average rainfall, temperature and PET for gauged catchments
    • Daily river flow series at gauged catchments: Grid-to-Grid [CEH], Dynamic TopModel [University of Bristol]
    • Gridded monthly flows and soil moisture from Grid-to-Grid, 1km grid [CEH]
    • (Dependent on user requirements) Summary grids and maps of this data, e.g. change factors for future time periods for key statistics (annual / monthly / seasonal flows, etc.)

    Daily grids of hydrological variables (runoff, soil moisture, etc.) under UKCP09 climate projections for seven representative catchments across the UK for three future periods (2020s, 2050s ,2080s), with 100 realisations, modelled with Di-CHASM [CEH]

    Expected March 2018 onwards.