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

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:30 PM
Development of a High-Resolution Drought Monitoring Tool for the Eastern United States
Room 350/351 (New Orleans Convention Center )
D. Brent McRoberts, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX; and J. Nielsen-Gammon, R. P. Boyles, R. V. Cumbie, and D. Niyogi

A high-resolution drought-monitoring tool developed in Texas is being expanded to cover the eastern half of the United States in order to provide an objective assessment of drought conditions at the sub-county scale. Daily precipitation data are obtained from the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service multi-sensor precipitation estimates (MPE). The 4 km resolution MPE data are updated every day and can be aggregated to several different time scales. Stations in the Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) network give the historical context for the MPE precipitation data necessary to depict drought conditions, with a large number of COOP stations reporting daily precipitation as far back as the 19th century. Using the COOP station data, historical Pearson Type III distribution parameters are interpolated to the 4 km grid based on a regional frequency analysis of the COOP stations and L-moment ratios of the precipitation data. Several different drought indicators, including the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and a modified SPI called the SPI Blend, are calculated from the real-time MPE and historical COOP data. The resulting products can be used by the United States Drought Monitor to give sub-county scale insight to drought conditions in the eastern United States.

Supplementary URL: