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Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System
The development of the Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) was initiated in 2011 when a drought of strong intensity and vast geographical extent unfolded in the southern tier of the United States. From 2010-2015, drought persisted throughout parts of the region, impacting western portions of Texas and Oklahoma and eastern New Mexico as well as many other areas in these states. Impacts were numerous across economic sectors. Failure of winter wheat and summer crops during 2011 resulted in shortages of food for cattle, which forced farmers to purchase large amounts of hay or sell their herds. Additionally, the drought caused critical municipal water shortages and led to wildfire danger and other ecological impacts. Many of these impacts lingered until 2015. The Southern Plains DEWS was launched to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders who needed information on drought conditions and the forecasted outlook, but often on different spatial and temporal scales.
U.S. Drought Monitor - Southern Plains DEWS
As of March 31, 2020
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