NOAA's Drought Task Force I was established in October 2011 with the ambitious goal of achieving significant new advances in the ability to understand, monitor, and predict drought over North America. The Task Force (duration was October 2011–September 2014) was an initiative of NOAA’s Climate Program Office's Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program in partnership with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
It brought together over thirty leading MAPP-funded drought scientists from multiple academic and federal institutions—including scientists from NOAA’s research laboratories and centers, NASA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and many universities—in a concerted research effort that built on individual MAPP research projects. These projects spanned the wide spectrum of drought research needed to make fundamental advances, from those aimed at the basic understanding of drought mechanisms to those aimed at testing new drought monitoring and prediction tools for operational and service purposes (as part of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction's Climate Test Bed).
The Drought Task Force provided focus and coordination to MAPP drought research activities, and also facilitated synergies with other national and international drought research efforts, including those by the Global Drought Information System (GDIS).
The Drought Task Force I leads were:
- Sigfried Schubert (Lead), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Christa Peters-Lidard (Co-Lead), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- Kingtse Mo (Co-Lead), NOAA Climate Prediction Center
- Andy Wood (Co-Lead), NCAR Research Applications Laboratory