Abstract Author: David S. Gutzler
Abstract Title: U.S. Drought statistics based on persistent seasonal climate anomalies
Abstract: A quantitative index of drought is developed to integrate operational climate prediction and drought monitoring/prediction, based on sliding 3-month averages of precipitation and temperature. This index therefore describes multi-season drought, and is designed to map directly onto the operational seasonal predictands generated by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. The statistics of CONUS drought defined in this way are described, using 20th Century data for the nine multi-state regional averages developed by the National Climatic Data Center. Methodological considerations for defining and monitoring drought, and a description of seasonally varying statistics of drought onset and demise using this index, are presented.