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2021 Flash Drought Webinar Series

Event Date
June 22, 2021 - September 29, 2021

Droughts are often categorized as ‘flash’ droughts when they develop or intensify in a matter of weeks (though defining flash droughts continues to be an area of active debate). The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the National Weather Service (NWS) held a series of three webinars to help climate professionals and operational service providers better understand this phenomenon, its defining characteristics and how it varies by region and season, its impacts on agricultural and other stakeholders, and the potential for improved monitoring, prediction, and planning/response tools (datasets, maps, etc.).

Webinar #1: “State of the Science” on Flash Drought

June 22, 2021

Flash Drought Literature Review
Joel Lisonbee, NOAA/NIDIS, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Flash Drought Monitoring Challenges and Needs
Jason Otkin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, & Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center

Flash Drought Prediction Challenges and Needs
Andy Hoell, NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, & Hailan Wang, NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Flash Drought Planning and Response Challenges and Needs
Tim Hall, Iowa Department of Natural Resources


Webinar #2: Flash Drought: Current Understanding and Future Priorities

August 3, 2021

Key Takeaways and Priorities from NIDIS Flash Drought Workshop
Joel Lisonbee and Molly Woloszyn, NOAA/NIDIS, CIRES

Additional Reflections on the Workshop and on Priority Actions to Advance Flash Drought Research
Mike Hobbins, NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory, CIRES
Amanda Cravens, USGS Fort Collins Science Center

View Webinar #2: All Presentations


Webinar #3: Emerging Tools for Flash Drought Monitoring and Prediction

September 29, 2021

Experimental Subseasonal Tools to Support Flash Drought Monitoring and Prediction at CPC
L. Gwen Chen, NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Upcoming Product: Week-2 Flash Drought Forecasts
Brad Pugh, NOAA Climate Prediction Center

Survey of Other Emerging Flash Drought Tools
Trent Ford, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Questions for Panelists (PDF)

View Webinar #3: All Presentations


Emerging Flash Drought Tools Described in the Webinar

Experimental Subseasonal Tools to Support Flash Drought Monitoring and Prediction at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC)

  • CPC is currently updating their flash drought tools; the experimental tools presented in this webinar are no longer available.

Upcoming CPC Product: Week-2 Flash Drought Forecasts

Survey of Other Emerging Flash Drought Tools


View the Report, Flash Drought: Current Understanding and Future Priorities

This report describes the NIDIS-sponsored December 2020 workshop’s key takeaways and provides a list of priority actions to help both NIDIS and the broader research community advance flash drought research activities and tool development.

View the Report


For more information on flash drought, please see What is Flash Drought? What Can We Do About it? For more information on the webinar series, please email