The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a map that is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Along with these weekly maps, the USDM provides weekly Drought Change Map that displays changes in drought class degradation and drought class improvements across the United States. USDM offers Drought Change Maps at weekly, monthly and annual timescales.
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National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC)
The Quick Drought Response Index (QuickDRI) is a shorter-term indicator of dryness. It is calculated through the analysis of satellite- and model-based observations of conditions that influence drought.
QuickDRI is a composite index that combines: Station-based precipitation, Soil moisture, Evapotranspiration, Vegetation health, and Environmental landscape characteristics, such as soils, land use, land cover, and elevation.
QuickDRI is designed to provide a snapshot of anomalously dry or wet conditions over the past 4 weeks and serves as an indicator of emerging or rapidly changing drought conditions. The maps are updated weekly over the continental United States and have a 1-kilometer spatial resolution.
This is a growing collection of information about what has been tried in responding to and preparing for drought in the United States. It’s categorized by sector, that is, information of interest for farming, livestock production, water supply and quality, energy, recreation and tourism, fire, plants and wildlife (environment), and society and public health. Each sector is further divided into subsectors.
The Drought Impacts Reporter (DIR) is an interactive database of drought impacts in the U.S., by location, data, type, and cost built from stakeholder, government, media and other reports.
The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) produces VegDRI in collaboration with the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS), and the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC). Main researchers working on VegDRI are Dr. Brian Wardlow, with the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT), and Dr. Tsegaye Tadesse at the NDMC, and Jesslyn Brown with the USGS. NDMC and CALMIT are both based in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. VegDRI was developed with sponsorship from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) and from NASA. Continued operational production of VegDRI is supported by the USGS.
VegDRI maps are produced every two weeks and provide regional to sub-county scale information about drought's effects on vegetation. In 2006, VegDRI covered seven states in the Northern Great Plains (CO, KS, MT, NE, ND, SD, and WY). It expanded across eight more states in 2007 to cover the rest of the Great Plains (NM, OK, MO, and TX) and parts of the Upper Midwest (IA, IL, MN, and WI). VegDRI expanded to include the western U.S. in 2008 (WA, ID, OR, UT, CA, AZ, NV). In May 2009 VegDRI began depicting the eastern states as well, covering the entire conterminous 48-state area.
The VegDRI calculations integrate satellite-based observations of vegetation conditions, climate data, and other biophysical information such as land cover/land use type, soil characteristics, and ecological setting. The VegDRI maps that are produced deliver continuous geographic coverage over large areas, and have inherently finer spatial detail (1-km2 resolution) than other commonly available drought indicators such as the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The Drought Risk Atlas provides historic data about drought through 2012 for weather stations across the United States that have at least 40 years of records. Users can select a station and view data for several drought indices over time, frequency statistics for drought thresholds, drought period information, and index comparisons.
Where do these data come from?
The Drought Risk Atlas uses precipitation records from the National Weather Service Cooperative data (COOP) that is archived by the Regional Climate Centers (RCC) in their Applied Climate Information System (ACIS).
The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a map that is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. The USDM uses a five-category system, labeled Abnormally Dry or D0, (a precursor to drought, not actually drought), and Moderate (D1), Severe (D2), Extreme (D3) and Exceptional (D4) Drought. Drought categories show experts' assessments of conditions related to dryness and drought including observations of how much water is available in streams, lakes, and soils compared to usual for the same time of year. U.S. Drought Monitor data go back to 2000.
Where does this come from?
Each week, drought experts consider how recent precipitation totals across the country compare to their long-term averages. They check variables including temperatures, soil moisture, water levels in streams and lakes, snow cover, and meltwater runoff. Experts also check whether areas are showing drought impacts such as water shortages and business interruptions. Based on dozens of indicators, experts make their best judgments of regional-scale drought conditions, and then check their assessments with experts in the field before publishing weekly drought maps. Associated statistics show what proportion of various geographic areas are in each category of dryness or drought, and how many people are affected.