Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Reconstructed drought variability in southeastern Sweden since the 1650s

Seftigen, Kristina; Linderholm, Hans W.; Drobyshev, Igor; Niklasson, Mats


In this study, we present the first regional reconstruction of summer drought for southeastern Sweden. The June-July standardized precipitation index (SPI) was reconstructed over the period 1650-2002 based on Pinus sylvestris L. tree-ring width data, where the reconstruction could account for 41.6% of the total variance in the instrumental record over 1901-2002. Our reconstruction suggests an overall wet 18th century and a dry 19th century. The most outstanding pluvial phase in the pre-instrumental period took place in the mid-1720s and lasted over 50 years, while multi-decadal periods of below average moisture conditions were reconstructed in the 1660s-1720s, 1800s-early 30s, and in the 1840s-50s. Several of these dry spells have previously been found in reconstructions from Sweden and Finland, indicating that our reconstruction reflects large-scale moisture anomalies across eastern Fennoscandia. Comparison of the SPI estimates with mid-tropospheric pressure patterns suggests that summertime drought is associated with positive pressure anomalies over British Isles and the North Sea, while an eastward movement of the Icelandic low-pressure systems over the western part of central Fennoscandia results in wetter than normal June-July conditions over the region of interest.


dendroclimatology; southeastern Sweden; SPI; drought reconstruction

Published in

International Journal of Climatology
2013, Volume: 33, number: 11, pages: 2449-2458