83rd Annual

Thursday, 13 February 2003: 11:30 AM
Midwestern Drought
Michael A. Palecki, ISWS, Champaign, IL
Poster PDF (767.6 kB)
Drought in the Midwestern United States (MN, IA, MO, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH, KY) is often preceded by drought in one of three surrounding regions: the Northeast, the Southeast, and the Great Plains. For example, the recent 1999-2000 drought developed following an East Coast drought in 1998, and incipient drought during the summer 2002 seems to be associated with growing western and Great Plains drought. Once drought is established in the conterminous U.S., the area affected will often evolve spatially over time as remote circulation forcing factors change with the seasons and local feedbacks affect the mid-tropospheric circulation. This study examines the process of drought evolution, with a special focus on the Midwest. After reviewing some case studies, more general lead-lag relationships are developed between drought indices for Midwestern states and elsewhere in the U.S., and with other circulation forcing factors in the Pacific Basin. The goal of this study is to improve the understanding of drought onset and duration in one of the most agriculturally productive areas of the U.S., and gauge the possibility of improving drought outlooks in this region.

Supplementary URL: