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 the Southeast, and provides a snapshot of conditions across that spectrum—including precipitation and temperature departure data, streamflow, soil moisture, groundwater, and various derived indices for monitoring drought in the region. Monitoring for the impact of drought is also important, and resources to submit conditions and/or impacts and view conditions are provided.
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 Southeast who need this information to make more informed decisions. In addition to state-level information, there are various ways drought information is shared and communicated at a regional level across the Southeast. This includes a Southeast Monthly Climate Webinar series, a quarterly climate report, and the Southeast DEWS email list. NIDIS is also working with regional partners to develop an "ACF River Basin Drought Dashboard" to improve access and communication of drought information across this watershed.
If you are interested in joining the Southeast DEWS listserv to share drought-related information across the Southeast, please email Meredith Muth (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Research + Applications
Research to better understand drought in the Southeast and its development, persistence, improvement, and interaction with other hazards is critical to providing timely and reliable information, products, and services in support of early warning. This page highlights research projects that are studying drought in the Southeast region, with support from NIDIS.