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2023-2024 NWS-NIDIS Webinar Series: Strengthening the National Weather Service Drought Toolbox

Event Date
August 28, 2023 - March 31, 2024

This 2023–2024 national webinar series—Strengthening the National Weather Service Drought Toolboxwill enable National Weather Service field office staff, operational meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists, to embed new drought tools, products, and insights into local and regional drought services.

The series is jointly organized by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) and National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), building on the previous joint NWS-NIDIS webinar series on flash drought (2021) and soil moisture (2022).

Webinar #1: Improving Local Drought Awareness and Messaging Using New NWS Drought Information Statements

August 28, 2023

NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) has developed a modernized Drought Information Statement (DGT), a product issued by NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) that synthesizes local drought conditions, impacts and outlook. On September 1, 2023, NWS launched an experimental implementation of the modernized DGT, based on a pre-populated Google Slides template that incorporates graphics and enables collaboration between neighboring WFOs.

This webinar reviewed the DGT modernization effort, showcased the new DGT template and format, outlined the expectations for DGT authors, and shared examples of the modernized DGT that were developed during a recent beta test with selected WFOs. Because sharing local drought impacts and mitigation actions with stakeholders is an important component of the DGT, the webinar also reviews sources of drought impact information.


  • Drought Information Statement (DGT) Modernization Effort & Template Overview: Maggie Hurwitz, NWS HQ; Keith White, NWS Austin/San Antonio Weather Forecast Office
  • Drought Impacts: Where to Find Them: Kelly Helm Smith, National Drought Mitigation Center

View Webinar Recap


Webinar #2: Monitoring, Predicting, and Communicating Flash Drought in your Region

October 17, 2023

This webinar provided local and regional perspectives on approaches for monitoring, predicting, and communicating flash drought, including an overview of the 2023 flash drought in the Midwest. Specifically, it reviewed how flash drought is identified (and noted regional variations), tools for monitoring and predicting flash drought, and guidance for communicating the risk of flash drought. Further, this webinar recapped key takeaways from the 2nd National Flash Drought Workshop, which took place in May 2023.


  • Key Findings from the 2nd National Flash Drought Workshop: Sylvia Reeves, NOAA/NIDIS, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)/University of Colorado Boulder
  • Monitoring, Predicting, and Communicating Flash Drought: Local Weather Forecast Office Perspective (Midwest): Jeff Boyne, La Crosse, WI Weather Forecast Office, National Weather Service (NWS)
  • Regional Messaging During the 2023 Midwest Drought: Molly Woloszyn, NOAA/NIDIS, CIRES/CU Boulder
  • Climate Prediction Center's Week-2 Hazards Rapid Onset Drought Risk: Adam Hartman and Brad Pugh, NWS Climate Prediction Center
  • Soil Moisture Developments and Resources for Flash Drought: Marina Skumanich, NOAA/NIDIS

View Webinar Recap


Upcoming Webinars in This Series

Future webinars in this series will focus on:

  • Assessing Drought in a Changing Climate – Wednesday, December 6, 2023
  • Identifying Key Drought Indicators for Your Location and Application – TBD, 2024
  • Understanding, Translating, and Messaging Drought Conditions: Providing Guidance to Stakeholders During a Drought – TBD, 2024