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Improving Local Drought Awareness and Messaging Using New NWS Drought Information Statements: August 28, 2023

Event Date
August 28, 2023
Event Time
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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, particularly in the water resources and agriculture sectors, is an important component of the DGT, the webinar also reviews sources of drought impact information.



Speakers: Meredith Muth, National Integrated Drought Information System; Maggie Hurwitz, National Weather Service

  • This is the first in a five-part webinar series, "Strengthening the NWS Drought Toolbox," co-organized by the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS).
  • The purpose of this webinar series is to support NWS field office staff, operational meteorologists, climatologists and hydrologists, to embed new drought tools, products, and insights into local and regional drought services.  



Drought Information Statement (DGT) Modernization Effort & Template Overview

Speakers: Maggie Hurwitz, NWS HQ; Keith White, Austin/San Antonio, Texas Weather Forecast Office

  • Extensive field engagement was conducted on drought messaging to inform the new Drought Information Statement template.
  • Issuance criteria will stay the same.
  • New updates include graphics to supplement text, pre-populated templates to facilitate product authorship, graphics and features available at, and opportunities for collaboration between field offices.
  • Speakers reviewed instructions for preparing and issuing the modernized Drought Information Statement product, opportunities for neighboring Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs) to collaborate, and special considerations for offices outside of the contiguous U.S.
  • Mark Wankowski (WFO Pueblo, Colorado) and Christine Kruse (WFO Salt Lake City, UT) shared excerpts from the Drought Information Statements they produced during the beta test period



Drought Impacts: Where to Find Them

Speaker: Kelly Helm Smith, National Drought Mitigation Center




Speaker: Meredith Muth, National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

  • The next webinar in this series will be ”Monitoring, Predicting, and Communicating Flash Drought in Your Region" on October 17, 2023. View the webinar recap and recording.