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Cover of the report depicting a dry, cracked lake bed.

This report documents the Midwest Drought Early Warning System Kickoff Meeting, held February 9-11, 2016 in St. Louis, MO, to formally launch the Midwest DEWS. The multi-day event brought together federal, state, local, private industry and academic partners and other stakeholders for an in-depth discussion on drought and high-precipitation events in the Midwest, with attention to water, climate, land resources and emergency management. Discussions centered on improving the capacity to meet the early warning information needs of decision makers in the Midwest.

Partners across the region assisted NIDIS with the launch of the Midwest DEWS, including the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC), Illinois State Water Survey, Kentucky Climate Center, University of Missouri Extension, National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NOAA, National Weather Service (NWS), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The desired outcomes of the Midwest DEWS Kickoff Meeting included:

  • Increased knowledge and awareness of available data, monitoring activities, and decision-support tools for drought and high precipitation events.
  • Identification of economic sector-specific and geographic data information needs.
  • Identification of communication resources that would be most effective for conveying drought information among sectors and geographic areas.
  • Recommendations for future actions, collaborative research, and decision support to improve early warning of drought in the Midwest.