92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 3:45 PM
Efforting a Global Drought Early Warning System (GDEWS): Decision Support Activities of the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) [INVITED]
Room 350/351 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Mark D. Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center, Lincoln, NE; and M. J. Hayes

How does drought continually “sneak” up on us? In fact, of all the hazards society must brace for, drought is a perfect case study and example of how we can effectively monitor within the framework of a drought early warning system (DEWS). Most droughts evolve slowly and can then remain for a short period of time, or they may end up lasting for years bringing with them the potential for a large spatial footprint that impacts many sectors of a region's economy. In 2006, the United States took some steps toward developing a coordinated and integrated DEWS through the creation of the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS). The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) (http://drought.unl.edu) has been collaborating with NIDIS and international partners like the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the United Nations (UN) for over a decade now with a goal of developing a virtual and comprehensive global drought early warning system (GDEWS).

Formed in 1995 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the NDMC's mission is to work to reduce societal vulnerability to drought by helping decision makers at all levels to: implement drought early warning systems, understand and prevent drought impacts and increase long-term resilience to drought through proactive planning. The NDMC conducts basic and applied research along with the maintaining of a number of operational drought-related and outreach activities, including the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), Drought Impact Reporter (DIR) and the Vegetation Drought Response Index (VegDRI).

This presentation will describe in more detail the various drought resources, tools, services, research efforts, lessons learned and collaborations already being provided by the NDMC and its partners , as well as a look at the next steps needed in fostering a risk management approach that will help others develop drought early warning systems in the U.S. and around the world.

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