22 Improving the Communication of Drought Conditions in Canada—Advancements in the Canadian Drought Monitor

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Trevor Hadwen, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Regina, Canada; and P. Cherneski, L. Richard, M. Magendrathajan, and M. McBurney

Drought is one of the most significant climate-related risks in Canada and is the single largest risk to Canadian agricultural production. Droughts are unpredictable but common features of Canada’s climate and all regions of Canada can be and have been affected by drought over time. This presentation will highlight significant improvements to the Canadian Drought Monitor (CDM) activity and our successes in dramatically improving the communications and outreach of the products online (www.agr.gc.ca/drought).

In Canada, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is the lead for monitoring and reporting drought. This work also contributes to the North American Drought Monitor (NADM). Over the past two years AAFC has made significant progress in improving the accuracy of the Canadian assessments, creating efficiencies in the process and developing and implementing online communication tools to better present the information to multiple audiences. The results are much increased reach, access and usability by a wide variety of experts, decision-makers, media and the general public.

Some specific highlights will include: how we have used ArcGIS Online to enable web-based review and input by colleagues across the country in real-time; how we are using and developing web map services for climate data sets; how we have implemented interactive maps and applications and most recently using Story Maps to highlight and describe our online map products. We will close with a summary of the next round of improvements to CDM that are already in progress.

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