Observation + Monitoring
When monitoring drought, it is important to look at data across the spectrum—from the atmosphere, land surface, and water availability below the surface. The list of data and maps below has been customized for California and Nevada, and provides a snapshot of conditions across that spectrum, including streamflow, groundwater, snowpack, wildfire, and various derived indices for monitoring drought in the region.
Planning + Preparedness
There is little that can be done to influence the weather patterns that cause drought, but preparatory actions and policies can help communities cope with drought impacts. Drought planning can ensure continuity of public services and quality of life. Drought planning can be done at the local and/or state level, or integrated into existing plans (e.g., hazard mitigation planning, land-use planning).
Prediction + Forecasting
When will drought affect me? How long could it last? This section includes resources for drought prediction and forecasting on what could be ahead, including the short-term (e.g., 8–14 day forecast), seasonal to subseasonal (e.g., monthly), and future climate projections (e.g., mid-century). The appropriate time scale will depend upon how this information is being used (e.g., drought response, mitigation management action, long-term planning). Weather and climate prediction is an evolving science, as researchers continue to find ways to improve models and forecasting capabilities at various time scales.
Communication + Outreach
An important component for drought early warning is communicating this information to stakeholders across the Midwest region that need this information in order to make more informed decisions. There are various ways drought information is communicated across the California-Nevada DEWS, including a bi-monthly webinar series, regular drought status updates, a quarterly climate report, and the California-Nevada DEWS email list.
Research + Applications
Research to better understand drought in California and Nevada—and its development, persistence, improvement, and interaction with other hazards—is critical to providing timely and reliable information, products, and services in support of drought early warning. This page highlights research projects that are studying drought in the California-Nevada region, with support from NIDIS.