In May 2022, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) began issuing an experimental Rapid Onset Drought risk product within CPC’s Day 8-14 (“Week-2”) U.S. Hazards Outlook. This product highlights areas where rapid drought development (sometimes known as “flash drought”) may occur in the coming 2–4 weeks as depicted by the U.S. Drought Monitor. This product supplements CPC’s Monthly Drought Outlook and is an important step toward comprehensive flash drought monitoring and prediction.
This webinar provided an overview of the tools and indicators that CPC forecasters use to assess Rapid Onset Drought risk, how to interpret this new product, and case studies of Rapid Onset Drought during the summer of 2022. In addition, CPC shared their next steps for improving the product in response to the recent national solicitation of comments, which includes efforts toward quantitative verification. Meteorologists, researchers and end users were encouraged to share their questions and experience using this new product in drought monitoring and decision-making.