2018 in top 5 pct. of Netherlands' driest years

On Sunday the Netherlands had an average precipitation shortage of 155 mm, placing 2018 officially in the 5 percent driest years since the beginning of rainfall measurements in 1906. That means that since 1906, only 5 percent of years were as dry in the Netherlands as it currently is, Weeronline reports.

The precipitation deficit is the difference between the amount of rainfall and evaporation. If more water evaporates than rain falls from the air, there is a precipitation deficit. If it is the other way around, there is a precipitation surplus. 

In parts of Twente, the Achterhoek and Midden-Limburg, the precipitation deficit currently stands at more than 200 mm. Normally July starts with a precipitation deficit of around 80 mm in the Netherlands. 

Since the start of this century, the Netherlands has dealt with drought in the summers of 2015, 2010, 2006 and 2003. In these years the precipitation deficit increased to around 200 mm. Wetter weather in the second half of the summer decreased the deficit rapidly. The drought record for this century dates from 2003, when the national precipitation deficit rose to 235 mm during the course of August.

Over the next week, the weather in the Netherlands is expected to remain sunny and dry with a dry northeast wind. On such days around 7 mm of water can evaporate per day. As a result, Weeronline expects that the precipitation deficit will rise to 210 mm by mid-July.