El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) characteristics exert measurable imprints on droughts over Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. However, local air-sea interactions, remotely forced teleconnections, and phase and intensity of other natural modes of variability are also expected to contribute to observed drought characteristics. Indirect evidence shows that since the U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1-D4 categories) in Hawaii lasted 388 weeks (April 22, 2008 to September 22, 2015); such an unprecedented persistence beyond ENSO timescales clearly indicates that factors other than ENSO are involved, and until now, no studies have attempted to explain the processes and feedbacks that led to this drought persistence.
There is a need in the Insular Pacific to identify precursors to monitor and predict the severity and persistence of droughts. Thus, the project team, in consultation with local stakeholders, will devise a framework with a focus on understanding processes and feedbacks, assessing causality, and reliably quantifying uncertainties in their prediction. The overarching goal of this project is to improve drought early warning in the Pacific and contribute to the NIDIS/MAPP Drought Task Force IV.
To accomplish this goal, the project has the following objectives:
- Based on specific stakeholder-relevant thresholds, study characteristics of severe and prolonged droughts from a multitude of observations and reanalysis products.
- Assess the predictability of drought life cycle, and develop a robust system for drought monitoring.
- Work closely with various regional stakeholders and NIDIS, and link the research results to improve drought prediction.
This project is part of the NIDIS/MAPP Drought Task Force IV.
For more information, please contact Britt Parker (email@example.com).