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Soil Moisture Product Review Webinar Series

Mar 15
A seedling grows out of the soil in the rain, representing soil moisture.

Soil moisture is an important indicator for drought, and while there are a range of products available for monitoring soil moisture, it is not always clear which products might be best for use in different regions, seasons, or conditions.

From December 14, 2021 to March 15, 2022, National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) Midwest Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) and the National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network co-hosted a series of four review sessions on key soil moisture products to help state climatologists and others better understand these products and their strengths and limitations. Each session covered 2–3 products, and included a presentation by a member of each development team and then a question and answer session to discuss product formulation, constraints, and features, and to calibrate against real-world application needs. While the series targeted Midwest applications, these presentations will be of interest to drought decision makers across the U.S. 

The series covered several commonly-used and available soil moisture products, as listed below. NIDIS plans to repeat this series in the future to cover additional products that are either currently available or in development. If you have suggestions on products to include, please contact

Soil Moisture Webinar Series Recordings

Soil Moisture Product Presentation Presenters Product Links
Webinar 1 Full Recording: NASA SPoRT-LIS and Crop-CASMA
NASA SPoRT-LIS Kristopher White, NOAA; Jonathan Case, NASA;  Christopher Hain, NASA Data Catalog Page


Crop-CASMA  Zhengwei Yang, USDA; Rajat Bindlish, NASA Data Catalog Page

Crop-CASMA Website

Webinar 2 Full Recording: GRACE and
NASA GRACE Matthew Rodell, NASA Data Catalog Page


Zack Leasor, OSU; Iliyana Dobreva, OSU Data Catalog Page

Webinar 3 Full Recording: NOAA/Climate Prediction Center Tools
CPC Leaky Bucket and Leaky Bucket-Based Outlooks Yun Fan, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Data Catalog Page

Leaky Bucket

Soil Moisture with CAS

GFS Soil Moisture Anomaly

NLDAS Percentiles and NLDAS Hydrology Muthuvel Chelliah, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Data Catalog Page

NLDAS Percentiles

NLDAS Hydrology

Upcoming Changes to CPC Suite of Products Hailan Wang, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center


Webinar 4 Full Recording: UCLA Experimental Surface Water Monitor and Climate Engine
UCLA Experimental Surface Water Monitor Dennis Lettenmaier, UCLA Data Catalog Page

UCLA Experimental Surface Water Monitor

Climate Engine: Soil Moisture Components Dan McEvoy & Justin Huntington, Desert Research Institute (DRI) Data Catalog Page

Climate Engine Web Application


Additional Resources

  • The Soil Moisture Product Dashboard provides side-by-side mapping of the current root-zone soil moisture levels from several of these soil moisture products. This dashboard is intended to facilitate analysis and support a convergence of evidence approach.
  • The Soil Moisture Data & Maps page provides a gateway to a wide range of soil moisture products and tools.
  • The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) describes the various types of soil moisture data sets in this handy reference guide (from 2019): Soil Moisture Data Sets: Overview & Comparison Tables.

For more information, please contact