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Temperature and Drought: A Science Assessment by a Subgroup of the Drought Task Force
Drought research has historically focused on the analysis of how precipitation deficits cause drought. In contrast, temperature as a drought driver has only recently drawn attention. Recent interest in temperature as a driver likely stems from observational evidence of increased land surface temperatures, more frequent heat waves, and the increasing duration of hot spells, all of which are giving a heightened perception of the land surface being “parched."
The NOAA Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program Drought Task Force II's research has explored the relation of temperature and drought, both as a driver of and responder to drought. In this drought information sheet, prior knowledge of drought is integrated with new insights on temperature-drought linkages. This information sheet is the state of the Drought Task Force’s knowledge on this topic.
The development of this Information Sheet was led by Martin Hoerling (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories) with input from many members of the second Drought Task Force (2014-2017). A Drought.gov news story on this report can be found here.