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cover of report shows dirt road leading toward wide river in dry autumn landscape

This report documents the development of the regional Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) for the Missouri River Basin from 2012 to present, with a focus on the 2014 launch meeting in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Meeting organizers included NIDIS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln

The process for building the DEWS is a reflection of the rich partnerships in the Missouri Basin, as well as the knowledge and experience these partnerships have accumulated over the last several decades. Some of the groups included in the DEWS development process were the Western Governors Association (WGA), the Missouri River Basin Interagency Roundtable, the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes, and research and monitoring groups such as NOAA’s High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC), the U.S. Department of the Interior’s North Central Climate Science Center (NCCSC), and the Western Water Assessment, a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment (RISA) team.

While the Nebraska City meeting is the foundation of the DEWS in the Missouri River Basin, this report also captures efforts prior to the February 2014 meeting. One particular effort was the series of meetings held with the Missouri River Basin Tribes on monitoring and drought risk management. Tribes in the Plains are located in some of the most highly variable climatic locations in the country and their perspective was important to include in this process.

The report concludes with activities initiated following the DEWS kickoff meeting in 2014 in Nebraska City. They are organized under three themes:

  1. Developing a DEWS with the Missouri Basin States;
  2. Developing a DEWS with the Tribes; and
  3. Improving Observing and Monitoring Networks.

Contributors include Martha Shulski and Crystal Stiles, HPRCC; Gwen White, Eastern Tallgrass Prairie & Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative; Tonya Haigh, Nicole Wall, and Tonya Bernadt, NDMC; and Laura Edwards, South Dakota State University Extension.

Document authors are Chad McNutt, NIDIS; Mark Svoboda, NDMC; Doug Kluck, NOAA - NCEI; Kathy Bogan, NIDIS; and Bethany Perry, NOAA.

February 28, 2014