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Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program & NIDIS Drought Research Competition

Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program

NOAA's Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program supports advances in the development and application of Earth system models and analyses across NOAA for the purpose of building resilience to climate impacts, predicting and projecting change from years to decades in the future, and improving our understanding of and ability to simulate the Earth system.

In support of this, MAPP funds collaborative research projects that engage academia, interagency partners, and the private sector with NOAA, its operational centers, and research laboratories. Since 2011, the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) has partnered with MAPP to support drought-focused competitive funding opportunities, with a focus on understanding the predictability of droughts and the ability of models to capture those sources of predictability, advancing relevant modeling systems, improving prediction and monitoring capabilities, and transitioning research into operational or applied use.

To help organize and maximize the output from funded drought research projects, the MAPP program, in partnership with NIDIS, organizes a Drought Task Force to coordinate the activities of researchers supported through each grant competition, and create an active community of practice around drought research and development in the United States. Since 2011, the Drought Task Forces have catalyzed community research aimed at improving national and regional drought capabilities. They have focused on supporting NIDIS and its Drought Early Warning Systems via advances in the understanding, monitoring, and prediction of drought. The current task force, Drought Task Force IV, is active from September 2020 to August 2023. 

Learn more about previous MAPP/NIDIS Drought Task Forces: Drought Task Force I, Drought Task Force II, and Drought Task Force III.

NIDIS-funded MAPP projects since 2011
$18.7 Million
in NIDIS funding for MAPP projects since 2014

FY 2023 MAPP/NIDIS Competition – Science for the 21st Century Western U.S. Hydroclimate

The FY 2023 MAPP/NIDIS competition focused on the critical state of the western hydroclimate and advancing our understanding and capabilities to address the challenges posed by variability and change in that hydroclimate.

Through this solicitation, MAPP/NIDIS sought proposals for research that can advance model-based understanding, monitoring, prediction, predictability, and model representation of drought. Research projects that are relevant to the efforts taken by states, regional entities, responsible water management agencies, and stakeholders to anticipate and manage water resources in the face of climate variability and change were encouraged.

There is a need for research that can help discriminate between long-term aridity vs. serial drought events vs. isolated drought events and improve understanding of how the propensity for and drivers of drought in the West are changing. There is also a need to apply models to understand and anticipate critical thresholds for water availability in the West. Connecting this research to real-world decisions, context, and operational activities is critical.

  • The FY23 application period closed on November 21, 2022. Awardees will be announced in 2023.
  • Pending the availability of funds in FY 2023, the MAPP program anticipates a funding allocation of up to $1,800,000 for this competition.
  • Proposals may be for up to three years, up to $250,000/year. A total of approximately 7–10 projects may be funded.
  • For more information, please contact Dan Barrie (


Notice of Funding Opportunity

Previous Drought-Focused MAPP/NIDIS Competitions

For years, the MAPP program has hosted funding competitions soliciting proposals on a variety of climate-related topics, and NIDIS has partnered with MAPP to support competitions focused on drought research topics, such as improving drought monitoring and prediction systems. Below, explore featured research from previous drought-focused MAPP competitions, as well as reports from the Drought Task Forces.

FY 2020 MAPP/NIDIS Competition: Characterizing and Anticipating U.S. Droughts’ Complex Interactions

In FY 2020, the MAPP program, in partnership with NIDIS, funded eleven 3-year research projects to advance our capability to more integrally characterize and anticipate U.S. droughts in the context of hydroclimatic variability and change, linking this research to practical NIDIS applications. This includes examining the array of complex interactions that lead to drought and intervene during its evolution; identifying key parameters to more integrally characterize droughts; defining predictability and developing improved methodologies for prediction of key thresholds. The competitively selected FY 2020 projects total $5,688,495, including $5,173,423 in grants and $515,072 in other awards. 

The MAPP/NIDIS Drought Task Force IV was created in September 2020 to coordinate the research funded through this competition. View all FY 2020 MAPP projects.

Drought Task Force IV Publications

FY 2017 MAPP/NIDIS Competition: Advancing Drought Understanding, Monitoring, and Prediction

In FY 2017, the MAPP program, in partnership with NIDIS, funded twelve 3-year projects to address gaps in the understanding, monitoring, and prediction of drought and improve our nation’s ability to prepare for impacts. These competitively funded FY 2017 projects involve $4.2 million in grants and $1.8 million in other awards (for a total of $6.0 million).

The MAPP/NIDIS Drought Task Force III was created to coordinate the research funded through this competition and ran from September 2017–August 2020. View all FY 2017 MAPP projects.

FY 2014 MAPP/NIDIS Competition: Research to Advance Understanding, Monitoring, and Prediction of Drought

In FY 2014, the MAPP program, in partnership with NIDIS, solicited proposals for projects to advance the understanding of North American droughts and the capability to monitor and predict them. Funded projects focused on understanding the predictability of past droughts over North America and/or advancing the development of a national drought monitoring and prediction system.

The MAPP/NIDIS Drought Task Force II was created to coordinate the research funded through this competition and ran from October 2014–September 2017.

FY 2011 MAPP/NIDIS Competition

In FY 2011, the MAPP program, in partnership with NIDIS, solicited proposals focused on developing an integrated drought prediction capability. Proposed system prototypes were to incorporate cutting-edge research advances in climate prediction (e.g., high-resolution predictions, statistical approaches, predictions from multiple leading modeling platforms, best practices to combine and pre-process the data, etc.) and land-surface and hydrologic modeling and data assimilation (e.g., use of multiple land and hydrologic models). 

The first MAPP/NIDIS Drought Task Force was created to coordinate the research funded through this competition. Drought Task Force I ran from October 2011–September 2014.