The exceptional drought and associated wildfires across the interior Southeast United States in 2016 greatly impacted the sectors of agriculture, water resources, public health, and tourism. With funding from the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), researchers from the Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) and the University of Georgia conducted an assessment of this significant drought event and produced a report, The Southeastern Drought and Wildfires of 2016.
The first chapter of the report examines the history of droughts across the region and describe how the 2016 drought developed and evolved over the course of the year. In chapters 2 and 3, the authors describe the impacts of the drought in the sectors of agriculture and water resources, respectively. Chapter 4 examine the wildfires that developed and the multiple factors that contributed to their extremeness with a focus on the Gatlinburg, Tennessee inferno. In chapters 5 and 6, the authors examine the impacts of the drought in public health and tourism, respectively. Each chapter of the report offers a background section that provides a foundation and context for understanding both the direct and indirect impacts of the drought.