2015 - warm, dry but stormy year


An overview of some of the more significant weather events of 2015, using satellite data, including data from Meteosat and Metop.

Last Updated

06 December 2022

Published on

31 December 2015

By Jochen Kerkmann and Sancha Lancaster (EUMETSAT)

2015 was the 39th consecutive year of above average global temperatures and the warmest on record. Combined land and ocean temperatures in 2015 averaged 0.90°C above the long-term mean (Credit: National Centers for Environmental Information (NEIC)).

Warm and dry conditions

In Europe the above average temperatures turned into recurring heatwaves which caused droughts in central and eastern parts in summer 2015.

The cumulative effect of persistent heatwaves, with long episodes without rain, caused serious problems for people, agriculture, and industry.

Comparing the 10 days aggregation of the NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) product for 31 August 2014 and 31 August 2015 (Figure 1), a huge difference in vegetation cover could be seen for most of Europe. This product estimates the land surface characteristics derived from satellite data. It uses reflectances from the SEVIRI Level 1.5 image data for the VIS0.6µm and the VIS0.8µm channels.

In Figure 1, below, the blue areas have dense and healthy vegetation cover, while red means no vegetation or very dry vegetation.


Comparison of 2014 and 2015

Image from 31 August 2015 compare1

Figure 1: Comparison of NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) product for 31 August 2014 and 31 August 2015. Credit: NASA.

Image comparison

Natural Colour RGB image from 13 June with streamlines compare1

Figure 3: Comparison of Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB with and without streamlines.

2014/2015 comparison

Image from 20 December 2015 compare1

Figure 4: Comparison of Meteosat-10 images illustrating the lack of snow pack on the Alps in 2015.

Image comparison

Metop-A MHS Channel 01, 9 June 05:29 UTC compare1

Figure 7: Comparison of Metop-A infrared and microwave images.