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  • Drought: Advances in Monitoring, Preparedness, and Understanding Drought Characteristics x
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Ashok K. Mishra and Vijay P. Singh

of droughts or an increase in their severity ( Wilhite and Hayes 1998 ), and based on the National Climatic Data Center ( National Climatic Data Center 2002 ) nearly 10% of the total land area experienced either severe or extreme droughts at any given time during the last century. There has been a variety of concepts ( Mishra and Singh 2010 ) applied to modeling droughts, ranging from simplistic approaches to more complex models ( Mishra and Singh 2011 ). Drought prediction or forecasting plays a

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Daniel J. McEvoy, Justin L. Huntington, John T. Abatzoglou, and Laura M. Edwards

and academic scientists to produce weekly maps classifying drought in the United States. Because of its ease of use and straightforward classification system, the USDM is being used by a number of sectors, including state and federal agencies, agriculture, and media ( Svoboda et al. 2002 ). With development continuing to increase in metropolitan and rural areas and pending major interbasin groundwater transfers planned from eastern to southern Nevada ( Nevada Bureau of Land Management 2012

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Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano, Santiago Beguería, Jorge Lorenzo-Lacruz, Jesús Julio Camarero, Juan I. López-Moreno, Cesar Azorin-Molina, Jesús Revuelto, Enrique Morán-Tejeda, and Arturo Sanchez-Lorenzo

since it is very complex to identify the moment when a drought starts and ends and also to quantify its duration, magnitude, and spatial extent ( Burton et al. 1978 ; Wilhite 2000 ). These characteristics explain the vast scientific effort devoted to develop tools providing an objective and quantitative evaluation of drought severity. The quantification of drought impacts is commonly done by using the so-called drought indices, which are proxies based on climatic information and assumed to

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Di Long, Bridget R. Scanlon, D. Nelun Fernando, Lei Meng, and Steven M. Quiring

station data for analyses of observational trends and gridded data are always used for evaluation of model outputs. The climate extreme indices have been used in global analyses of extreme events based on observational data and models (e.g., Alexander et al. 2006 ; Frich et al. 2002 ; Tebaldi et al. 2007 ). Results based on 2223 temperature and 5948 precipitation stations globally from 1951 to 2003 showed a decrease in cold nights and an increase in warm nights over 70% of the land area and similar

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Charles W. Lafon and Steven M. Quiring

spatial variations in disturbance regimes may influence geographic patterns of vegetation ( Parker et al. 2001 ; Bond and Keeley 2005 ). Here, we investigate how climate, specifically moisture, influences geographic patterns of wildfire in the eastern United States. Fire is an influential disturbance agent and major natural hazard that presents complex management challenges. Many factors, such as vegetation and land use, affect fire occurrence ( Pyne 1982 ; Alaback et al. 2003 ), but climate is of

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Richard R. Heim Jr. and Michael J. Brewer

meteorological drought and the occurrence of hydrological impacts, the dependence of hydrological drought on basin-specific characteristics, and how hydrological drought and associated indices are influenced by watershed management practices and changes in land use. However, several hydrological drought indices that could be considered include reservoir level, low streamflow index, a composite hydro index, and precipitation-based indices such as the SPI or percent of normal precipitation ( Stefanski 2011

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Kingtse C. Mo, Lindsey N. Long, and Jae-Kyung E. Schemm

may mitigate the impact of drought. Most projections rely upon the simulations from atmosphere–land–ocean coupled models. For example, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) experiments were performed by several coupled models with different CO 2 scenarios. In the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC, it is projected that rainfall in the United States is likely to increase over the Northeast and to decrease over the Southwest

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