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

Community Climate Model version 3 (CCM3), which has been used extensively by us for North American drought research (e.g., Seager et al. 2005b ). NCAR has released many atmosphere models since CCM3 and all have been experimented with at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory but none found to be as skillful at reproducing the observed history of southwest North American and Plains precipitation as CCM3. Hence, despite its vintage, we use CCM3 here. The model is forced by observed SSTs that are from the

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Johnna M. Infanti and Ben P. Kirtman

damage, it is important to understand the current prediction capability within the region. It is now fairly well understood that a multimodel approach to prediction is an imperfect but still pragmatic method to estimating forecast uncertainty ( Krishnamurti et al. 1999 , 2000 ; Doblas-Reyes et al. 2000 ; Palmer et al. 2004 ; Hagedorn et al. 2005 ; Weigel et al. 2008 ; Kirtman and Min 2009 ). In this paper we utilize phase-1 data from the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) system, a

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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

central Great Plains drought of 2012, and the western U.S. drought from 1998 to 2002. The DEWS WG focus is on supporting the continued development and evaluation of drought monitoring and prediction tools, such as the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) and the North American Multimodel Ensemble (NMME) system. Note that DEWS is used here to indicate a research focus on monitoring and prediction. Comprehensive early warning information systems, such as those intended as part of NIDIS

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Paul A. Dirmeyer, Jiangfeng Wei, Michael G. Bosilovich, and David M. Mocko

Great Plains and eastern Rockies have an evaporative source that mainly comes from the western Gulf of Mexico, as well as terrestrial areas in the southern part of the region, and sporadic moister localities across the Intermountain West. The region of the Pacific off the coast of Baja California is also a moisture source prior to the onset of the North American monsoon (see Brubaker et al. 2001 ). Figure 2 (bottom) shows the evaporative source supplying precipitation over the states of the

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Sujay V. Kumar, Christa D. Peters-Lidard, David Mocko, Rolf Reichle, Yuqiong Liu, Kristi R. Arsenault, Youlong Xia, Michael Ek, George Riggs, Ben Livneh, and Michael Cosh

experiments, including the evaluation of modeled soil moisture, snow depth, and streamflow fields. Finally, section 5 provides the summary and main conclusions. 2. Approach In this study, we employ a domain configuration similar to the one used in the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) project ( Mitchell et al. 2004 ), which is a multi-institution effort focused on generating high-quality, spatially and temporally consistent LSM datasets from best available observations and model

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Youlong Xia, Michael B. Ek, David Mocko, Christa D. Peters-Lidard, Justin Sheffield, Jiarui Dong, and Eric F. Wood

1. Introduction The North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) runs four land surface models (LSMs) over the NLDAS domain covering southern Canada, the contiguous United States (CONUS), and northern Mexico in support of improved weather prediction and land data assimilation. The NLDAS was initiated in 1999 via the collaboration among the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and several universities as a tool

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Jason A. Otkin, Martha C. Anderson, Christopher Hain, Iliana E. Mladenova, Jeffrey B. Basara, and Mark Svoboda

ABL temperature profile, which is obtained from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR; Mesinger et al. 2006 ). In comparison with tower flux measurements, typical errors in daily ET have been found to be on the order of 10%–15% of the mean observed flux for a variety of vegetation types and climate conditions ( Anderson et al. 2007a , 2007b , 2012 ). The reader is referred to Anderson et al. (2007b) for a complete description of the ALEXI system. To minimize the impact of non

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Kingtse C. Mo and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

of hydrological drought. As a result of the sparseness of observations of SM and the complexities of the relationships between (spatially distributed) runoff and observed streamflow, the use of model-derived SM and runoff from efforts like the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) ( Mitchell et al. 2004 ; Xia et al. 2012 ) and extensions thereof by Maurer et al. (2002) and Livneh et al. (2013) have become popular. The Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) of the National Centers

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Martha C. Anderson, Christopher Hain, Jason Otkin, Xiwu Zhan, Kingtse Mo, Mark Svoboda, Brian Wardlow, and Agustin Pimstein

uniquely sensitive to rapidly changing conditions relating to flash drought. In this paper, ESI performance over the contiguous United States (CONUS) is compared with soil moisture (SM), ET, and runoff indices generated with the prognostic LSMs in the North American Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS; Xia et al. 2012a , b ) operated by the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and used in the North American Drought Briefings (NADB; www

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

percentiles with those data taken from the ensemble-mean National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) North American Land Data Assimilation. Impacts from the drought emerged swiftly. Loss estimates by the end of July 2012 were $12 billion (U.S. dollars; www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/mse/MSE_0312.pdf ). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that corn yield (per acre of planted crop) was only 123 bushels ( www.nass.usda.gov ). This is 26% below the 166-bushel yield expectation that

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