Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Molly Woloszyn x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Tonya R. Haigh
,
Jason A. Otkin
,
Molly Woloszyn
,
Dennis Todey
, and
Charlene Felkley

Abstract

Agricultural production in the U.S. Midwest is vulnerable to drought, and specialty crop producers are an underserved audience for monitoring information and decision-support tools. We investigate the decision-making needs of apple, grape, and cranberry growers using a participatory process to develop crop-specific decision calendars. The process highlights growers’ decisions and information needs during the winter dormant, growing, harvest, and postharvest seasons. Apple, grape, and cranberry growers tend to be concerned with the effects of short-term drought on current crop quality and quantity, while also considering the long-term drought effect on the health of perennial plants and future years’ production. We find gaps in drought information particularly for tactical and strategic decision-making. We describe the use of decision calendars to identify points of entry for existing drought monitoring resources and tools, and to highlight where additional research and tool development is needed.

Significance Statement

While drought causes agricultural losses in the U.S. Midwest, more is known about the impacts and decision-support needs of commodity row crop growers in the region than those of perennial specialty crop growers. We find opportunities for climate information providers to tailor drought information delivery to perennial fruit growers according to the season, the parameters that are relevant to their decisions, and the timeframe of information needed for operational, tactical, and strategic decision-making.

Restricted access
Andrew Hoell
,
Trent W. Ford
,
Molly Woloszyn
,
Jason A. Otkin
, and
Jon Eischeid

Abstract

Characteristics and predictability of drought in the midwestern United States, spanning the from the Great Plains to the Ohio Valley, at local and regional scales are examined during 1916–2015. Given vast differences in hydroclimatic variability across the Midwest, drought is evaluated in four regions identified using a hierarchical clustering algorithm applied to an integrated drought index based on soil moisture, snow water equivalent, and 3-month runoff from land surface models forced by observed analyses. Highlighting the regions containing the Ohio Valley (OV) and Northern Great Plains (NGP), the OV demonstrates a preference for subannual droughts, the timing of which can lead to prevalent dry epochs, while the NGP demonstrates a preference for annual-to-multiannual droughts. Regional drought variations are closely related to precipitation, resulting in a higher likelihood of drought onset or demise during wet seasons: March–November in the NGP and all year in the OV, with a preference for March–May and September–November. Due to the distinct dry season in the NGP, there is a higher likelihood of longer drought persistence, as the NGP is 4 times more likely to experience drought lasting at least one year compared to the OV. While drought variability in all regions and seasons is related to atmospheric wave trains spanning the Pacific–North American sector, longer-lead predictability is limited to the OV in December–February because it is the only region/season related to slow-varying sea surface temperatures consistent with El Niño–Southern Oscillation. The wave trains in all other regions appear to be generated in the atmosphere, highlighting the importance of internal atmospheric variability in shaping Midwest drought.

Full access
Jason A. Otkin
,
Molly Woloszyn
,
Hailan Wang
,
Mark Svoboda
,
Marina Skumanich
,
Roger Pulwarty
,
Joel Lisonbee
,
Andrew Hoell
,
Mike Hobbins
,
Tonya Haigh
, and
Amanda E. Cravens

Abstract

Flash droughts, characterized by their unusually rapid intensification, have garnered increasing attention within the weather, climate, agriculture, and ecological communities in recent years due to their large environmental and socioeconomic impacts. Because flash droughts intensify quickly, they require different early warning capabilities and management approaches than are typically used for slower-developing “conventional” droughts. In this essay, we describe an integrated research-and-applications agenda that emphasizes the need to reconceptualize our understanding of flash drought within existing drought early warning systems by focusing on opportunities to improve monitoring and prediction. We illustrate the need for engagement among physical scientists, social scientists, operational monitoring and forecast centers, practitioners, and policy-makers to inform how they view, monitor, predict, plan for, and respond to flash drought. We discuss five related topics that together constitute the pillars of a robust flash drought early warning system, including the development of 1) a physically based identification framework, 2) comprehensive drought monitoring capabilities, and 3) improved prediction over various time scales that together 4) aid impact assessments and 5) guide decision-making and policy. We provide specific recommendations to illustrate how this fivefold approach could be used to enhance decision-making capabilities of practitioners, develop new areas of research, and provide guidance to policy-makers attempting to account for flash drought in drought preparedness and response plans.

Full access
C. Bruce Baker
,
Michael Cosh
,
John Bolten
,
Mark Brusberg
,
Todd Caldwell
,
Stephanie Connolly
,
Iliyana Dobreva
,
Nathan Edwards
,
Peter E. Goble
,
Tyson E. Ochsner
,
Steven M. Quiring
,
Michael Robotham
,
Marina Skumanich
,
Mark Svoboda
,
W. Alex White
, and
Molly Woloszyn

Abstract

Soil moisture is a critical land surface variable, impacting the water, energy, and carbon cycles. While in situ soil moisture monitoring networks are still developing, there is no cohesive strategy or framework to coordinate, integrate, or disseminate these diverse data sources in a synergistic way that can improve our ability to understand climate variability at the national, state, and local levels. Thus, a national strategy is needed to guide network deployment, sustainable network operation, data integration and dissemination, and user-focused product development. The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network (NCSMMN) is a federally led, multi-institution effort that aims to address these needs by capitalizing on existing wide-ranging soil moisture monitoring activities, increasing the utility of observational data, and supporting their strategic application to the full range of decision-making needs. The goals of the NCSMMN are to 1) establish a national “network of networks” that effectively demonstrates data integration and operational coordination of diverse in situ networks; 2) build a community of practice around soil moisture measurement, interpretation, and application—a “network of people” that links data providers, researchers, and the public; and 3) support research and development (R&D) on techniques to merge in situ soil moisture data with remotely sensed and modeled hydrologic data to create user-friendly soil moisture maps and associated tools. The overarching mission of the NCSMMN is to provide coordinated high-quality, nationwide soil moisture information for the public good by supporting applications like drought and flood monitoring, water resource management, agricultural and forestry planning, and fire danger ratings.

Free access