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Richard Seager, Lisa Goddard, Jennifer Nakamura, Naomi Henderson, and Dong Eun Lee

lesser extent, warm tropical North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies ( Schubert et al. 2004a , b ; Seager et al. 2005b ; Herweijer et al. 2006 ; Seager 2007 ). This most recent drought also coincided with a La Niña event. Indeed, a recent study ( Hoerling et al. 2013 ) has concluded that the precipitation reduction over Texas in the summer of 2011 was within the range of natural variability of the atmosphere–ocean–land surface system and made much more likely by the La Niña of 2010

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M. Hoerling, J. Eischeid, A. Kumar, R. Leung, A. Mariotti, K. Mo, S. Schubert, and R. Seager

May and June ( Fig. 5 , top panels), a zonal ridge of high pressure anomalies inhibited the typical southward push of cold fronts from Canada that often serve to organize widespread rains. July (bottom left) saw a somewhat different pattern, though no less effective in inhibiting rainfall. An intense anticyclone was centered over the northern plains region, preventing frontal incursions while also stabilizing the atmosphere and inhibiting deep convection that typically contributes appreciably to

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Eric F. Wood, Siegfried D. Schubert, Andrew W. Wood, Christa D. Peters-Lidard, Kingtse C. Mo, Annarita Mariotti, and Roger S. Pulwarty

new strategies for using satellite data to monitor drought (and floods), which can provide an assessment of drought characteristics independent of land surface model analyses. Anderson et al. (2013) compare the ESI with NLDAS model-based estimates of SM, evapotranspiration ET, and runoff anomalies, and with other empirical indices such as the vegetation health index (VHI) and SPI, using the USDM classifications as a reference. The ESI uses the thermal infrared (TIR) satellite-based Atmosphere

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