The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values by United States climate division, compiled by blending tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data from the coterminous United States. Using tree-ring PMDI reconstructions to extend the instrumental record yields a record of drought distribution and intensity covering over 2000 years. Tree-ring data were used up until 1978 AD, with instrumental data spliced in after that point. The reconstructed tree-ring values were recalibrated to instrumental conditions using GHCN's June-July-August climate division PMDI data. The recalibration was done using the Kernal Density Distribution Method (KDDM) outlined by McGinnis et al. (2015). When looking at PMDI values, increasing drought intensity is represented by increasingly negative numbers.
Where do these data come from?
Pre-instrumental values were taken from the Cook et al. (2010) Living Blended Drought Atlas (LBDA) summer PMDI values reconstructed on a 0.5 grid over North America. This reconstruction used 1,845 annual tree-ring chronologies to reconstruct past conditions. The regression procedures outlined in Cook et al. (1999) were used to develop the summer PMDI values from the tree ring network. The instrumental data are comprised of thousands of quality-controlled station values that go into the GHCN monthly temperature and precipitation data.