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Causes and Impacts of the 2016-2019 Southeast Alaska Drought

NIDIS Supported Research
NIDIS-Supported Research
Main Summary

Southeast Alaska, home to the northernmost temperate rain forest in the world, experienced frequent and cumulatively significant below-normal precipitation starting in autumn 2016. Combined with above-normal air and ocean temperatures and changes in economies, the 2016–2019 drought brought wide reaching impacts to individuals, communities, tribes and ecosystems.

Focus areas of this research include:

  • Putting the 2016–2019 drought into historical context
  • Elucidating some of the drivers of the dominant weather patterns during this drought,
  • Documenting impacts across multiple systems and time scales
  • Providing estimates of the future likelihood of such events reoccurring in coming decades through post-processing of available climate model projections.

Research Snapshot

Research Timeline
October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2022
Principal Investigator(s)
Richard Thoman (Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy/University of Alaska-Fairbanks) and Andrew Hoell (NOAA PSL)
Project Funding
What to expect from this research

The research team has produced two-page summaries on the following topics:

There will also be a full report on the Impacts and Attribution of the 2016–2019 Southeast Alaska Drought and a peer-reviewed publication. 

Related Documents
Document Date
March 2022
Document Date
March 2022
Document Date
March 2022
Document Date
March 2022
Key Regions
Research Scope