The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center currently runs a real-time configuration of the Noah land surface model (LSM) within the NASA Land Information System (LIS) framework. The LIS-Noah is run at 3-km resolution for local numerical weather prediction (NWP) and situational awareness applications at select NOAA/National Weather Service (NWS) forecast offices over the Continental U.S. (CONUS). To enhance the practicality of the LIS-Noah output for drought monitoring and assessing flood potential, a 30+-year soil moisture climatology has been developed in an attempt to place near real-time soil moisture values in historical context at county- and/or watershed-scale resolutions. This LIS-Noah soil moisture climatology and is intended to complement the current suite of operational products, such as the North American Land Data Assimilation System phase 2 (NLDAS-2), which are generated on a coarser-resolution grid that may not capture localized, yet important soil moisture features. Daily soil moisture histograms are used to identify the real-time soil moisture percentiles at each grid point according to the county or watershed in which the grid point resides. Spatial plots are then produced that map the percentiles as proxies to the different USDM categories.
This presentation will highlight recent developments of this gridded, objective soil moisture index, comparison to subjective analyses, and application examples.