The U.S. Drought Monitor was established in 1999 to detect and measure droughts across the United States by combining multiple indices and impacts. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a joint effort between the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA), Department of Commerce (DOC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)), the Climate Prediction Center (DOC, NOAA and the National Weather Service), the National Climatic Data Center (DOC and NOAA) as well as the National Drought Mitigation Center (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) as academic partner, and others.
The Drought Monitor provides maps, narratives, forecast descriptions, outlooks and indices. These products provide current and forecast information. Current information includes: reported drought impacts, precipitation analysis, aggregated drought-related impacts, weekly weather and crop bulletin, Palmer Drought Severity Index, Crop Moisture Index, Standardized Precipitation Index, percent of normal rainfall, daily streamflow map, snowpack, soil moisture, daily soil moisture anomaly, Vegetation and Temperature Condition Index as well as observed fire danger class. The following forecasts are available: climate outlooks, seasonal US drought outlooks, as well as streamflow and soil moisture forecasts. The approach of the U.S. Drought Monitor integrates multiple drought indicators with field information, satellite data products and expert input.
The products are used by National Weather Service, Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, state water agencies and other resource management institutions and organizations, the Weather Channel and other specialized media, general media and the general public.
References: U.S. Drought Monitor Website (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/, accessed on February 07, 2012) V. Grasso and A. Singh, UNEP (Dec 2011, forthcoming): Early Warning Systems: State-of-Art Analysis and Future Directions.