Rapid onset drought events or "flash droughts" occur rapidly (i.e., as short as a few weeks) and can impact agriculture harsher than longer lasting droughts because farmers have less time to prepare them. Drought early warning during these rapidly evolving situations, however, is difficult to obtain using existing drought forecasting products. Early warning signals can be identified through drought indicators such as the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI).
New work published in the July issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society describes the results from two focus group meetings that were held to present the ESI and associated datasets.
This BAMS note describes the results of focus groups that were held with stakeholders in two NIDIS pilot regions, to better understand how they could use drought early warning information to prepare for flash drought development. This work was funded by CPO’s SARP program.
According to the author's the meetings discussed in this BAMS piece 'facilitated interactions between researchers and stakeholders that provided valuable feedback that will improve the use of these datasets for drought mitigation efforts, and illustrate the importance of engaging stakeholders when developing new tools."
"Though U.S. agriculture was the primary focus of these meetings, drought early warning over subseasonal time scales should also be beneficial to other stakeholder groups," said the authors.
They followed up by saying that the continued development of early warning indicators are vital to properly respond to changing conditions and to reduce exposure to drought.
To access a PDF of this article, visit: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00219.1
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