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Southeast Alaska Drought

Document Author
Andy Hoell, Rick Thoman, Heather McFarland, and Britt Parker
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Although southeast Alaska is one of the wettest areas in North America, it was plagued by a long-lived drought from October 2016 to December 2019. The drought intensified in late 2017 garnering significant attention in Alaska as water restrictions and reservoir levels were too low for hydropower generation to meet capacity. Over the following 18 months, the drought waxed and waned with additional impacts, especially during the hot summer of 2019. This coincided with increasing national interest in Alaska drought, with a workshop sponsored by the USDA Northwest Climate Hub held in May 2019 in Juneau.

This report provides comprehensive information on the 2016–2019 drought that will be of value to a wide audience. For organizations and agencies outside of southeast Alaska but with an interest in the region, this will provide a look at a very “non-traditional” drought in one of the wettest parts of the world. For Tribes, communities and decision makers in southeast Alaska, this report will provide ready access to “what happened” and can inform planning, adaptation and mitigation activities.

This report is the result of NIDIS-funded research.

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The Southeast Alaska Drought report provides comprehensive information on the 2016 to 2019 drought.