Monday, 8 January 2018: 10:45 AM
Room 18A (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Accurate and timely monitoring and prediction of drought events is vital for reducing societal vulnerability through improving drought early warning and mitigation. Soil moisture is a key source of information that helps to identify the onset and characterize the severity of agricultural drought. Soil moisture is particularly important for drought monitoring because it determines plant water availability for transpiration, and the partitioning of latent and sensible heat. Additionally, soil moisture dynamics typically operate on the subseasonal-to-seasonal time scales, providing an imprint or memory to the atmosphere. This memory is important to characterize for drought forecasting. The strong connections between soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and atmospheric evaporative demand offer promise that inclusion of high quality, near-real time soil moisture information into nationwide drought monitoring systems can improve the accuracy of drought monitoring. To this end, we seek to develop a national-scale drought monitoring product integrating multiple, diverse sources of soil moisture information to improve U.S. Drought Monitor and NLDAS-2 soil moisture representation and more generally, drought monitoring.
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