Climate change causes an increase in the frequency and severity of weather extremes. One of the most relevant severe and damaging phenomena in Europe is drought. However, a difference in the spatial frequency of the occurrence and drought trends is evident between southern and northern Europe. Central Europe and particularly the West Carpathian region form a transitional zone, and drought patterns are complicated because of the geomorphologically complicated landscape. Since almost half of the Slovak state territory is represented by such natural landscape, it is necessary to investigate regional drought specifics. Therefore, we decided to analyze drought occurrence and trends using the SPI (Standardised Precipitation Index) and the SPEI (Standardised Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index) at available climatological stations of the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMI) in the upper Hron region within the 1984–2014 period. We found that (1) drought incidence decreased with increasing altitude, (2) increasing air temperature increased the difference in drought trends between lowlands and mountains during the studied period, and (3) abrupt changes in time series of drought indices, that could indicate some signals of changing atmospheric circulation patterns, were not revealed. Finally, we constructed a simplified map of drought risk as an explanation resource for local decision-makers.
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