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Drought Onset, Persistence, and Recovery in the Midwest

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The Midwest region has endured many droughts that have led to billion dollar losses, with examples over the last 30 years including 1980s, 2005, and 2012. Neither the onset or demise of the 2005 and 2012 droughts over the Midwest were forecast. The goal of this NIDIS-funded research study led by NOAA’s Physical Sciences Laboratory is to build a predictive understanding of drought and to quantify the risks of droughts with certain characteristics in the Midwest region. This summary highlights results focused on the characteristics of drought onset, persistence, and recovery.

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Midwest Climate Region