J3.1 Exploring Tools for Quantifying and Ameliorating Meteorological Drought Deficits

Monday, 11 January 2016: 1:30 PM
Room 240/241 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Michael C. Kruk, ERT, Inc., Asheville, NC; and R. R. Heim Jr., K. Werner, and R. S. Vose

Owing to the far-reaching societal and economic impacts of drought, there is considerable interest in how much precipitation is required to end a drought. However, complex hydrological processes and water management practices affect the quantity of precipitation required to end or ameliorate (reduce the severity of) a drought. While resource managers typically have detailed knowledge of what is needed to ameliorate drought and/or water deficits in their systems, the general public including the media and political leadership do not. Several drought recovery and drought amelioration/termination tools exist which estimate the amount of precipitation needed to ameliorate or end drought. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) supports and maintains a website dedicated to determining the quantity of precipitation needed to ameliorate or end a drought, as does NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society. These tools are based on different drought indices and/or different computational methodologies. As such, the multiple toolsets cause confusion among the stakeholders they seek to serve.

This presentation will highlight a few of the existing drought amelioration tools available online, including a revamped tool at NCEI. It will also highlight the results of a few recently held user-engagement workshops designed to document how drought amelioration tools are being used and what improvements in these tools the user community is seeking.

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