Wednesday, 15 May 2002: 9:15 AM
Three years and counting: What’s new with the Drought Monitor?
In August 1999, a unique weekly product was launched for monitoring drought across the United States. In the nearly three years since that beginning, the Drought Monitor continues to grow and adapt in its attempt to make an assessment of drought conditions in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Four agencies now share in the authorship of the weekly map: the National Drought Mitigation Center, Climate Prediction Center, United States Department of Agriculture, and National Climatic Data Center. However, the success of the Drought Monitor also depends on the input and support of local climate and water experts around the country. This network now totals about 150 experts and continues to grow. The Drought Monitor has never been a forecast; rather, it relies on a wide variety of indices and indicators to determine the current level of drought severity across the country. The Drought Monitor has encouraged the development of improved data networks and products. Several new indicators have also resulted as well. One of these new indicators recognizes that drought has different short-term and long-term characteristics, and it combines indicators representing these characteristics to improve drought monitoring. This family of experimental products has been called the Objective Blends. The Drought Monitor product and many of the indicators used in creating the product, including the Objective Blends, are available on the web at http://drought.unl.edu/monitor/.
Supplementary URL: http://drought.unl.edu/monitor/