NOAA responds to Americans' call for shorter-term drought forecasts

July 1, 2013 On June 27, the President's Climate Action Plan called upon federal agencies to help communities around the nation become more resilient to and prepared for weather and climate extremes, such as drought. To further this call to action, NOAA this week added a new product to its toolkit that will give more timely and accurate drought predictions across the United States.

The new forecast-NOAA's monthly drought outlook-adds to the seasonal predictions issued by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, and complements the weekly drought condition updates via the U.S. Drought Monitor (www.drought.govoffsite link).

Right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) skim feeding with Delaware II in the background. Credit: Lisa Conger, NOAA/NEFSC

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center unveiled a new U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook product, which more accurately reflects rapidly evolving drought conditions across the country.

Download here (Credit:NOAA)

This new product will better capture the rapid onset of drought and drought improvement--information needed by our many stakeholders, especially farmers and ranchers who need timely and accurate information to make short-term decisions during growing season.

The monthly product is now possible due to improvements in weather and climate model forecasts and associated post-processing as reflected in extended range forecasts (e.g., 6-10 day, 8-14 day, and monthly forecasts). The product now includes keywords such as "persistence," "improvement," and "removal," which will help users more clearly understand predicted conditions in their region.

This monthly drought outlook is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, the business sector, academia, and the public to support informed decision-making and build a climate-smart nation. To view the July 2013 Drought Outlook, visit:

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and our other social media channels.

Maureen O'Leary