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Shraddhanand Shukla, Anne C. Steinemann, and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

1. Introduction Droughts can cause significant economic losses that reach all levels of society. Between 1980 and 2005, droughts and heat waves in the United States inflicted an estimated $174 billion (2009 U.S. dollars) in damages ( Lott and Ross 2006 ). Since 1963, 46 federal drought declarations have been made across the United States (see http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema ). Despite its water-abundant reputation, the state of Washington has experienced two major statewide droughts in

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Karin A. Bumbaco and Philip W. Mote

1. Introduction Drought, as Redmond (2002) aptly put it, is “insufficient water to meet needs,” not necessarily a deficit of precipitation, and must be described in terms of its impacts. Drought is difficult to define, but the importance of impacts in defining drought has long been recognized. Wilhite and Glantz (1985) categorized drought definitions as meteorological, hydrologic, agricultural, and socioeconomic, each with impacts taken into consideration. That list has since expanded, and

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Hongshuo Wang, Jeffrey C. Rogers, and Darla K. Munroe

1. Introduction Drought is a climatic hazard that may cause many negative influences to food security and economic and social stability. Recent studies show increasing global drought from both observations and models ( Dai 2012 ). Thus, it is urgent to understand the current and future drought situations in different regions of the world. Effective drought monitoring, usually based on meteorological observations, plays an important role in drought assessment and alleviation. Drought can be

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Yi Liu, Ye Zhu, Liliang Ren, Jason Otkin, Eric D. Hunt, Xiaoli Yang, Fei Yuan, and Shanhu Jiang

1. Introduction The summer 2012 drought that occurred across the central United States is recognized as a historic flash drought event. It attracted widespread attention by the scientific community due to its tremendous impacts on agricultural production and the economy ( Hoerling et al. 2014 ). In contrast to a traditional, more slowly evolving drought, this event intensified suddenly and caused a rapid depletion of soil moisture during a 2-month time period ( Otkin et al. 2015 ). Trenberth

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Sang-Min Lee, Hi-Ryong Byun, and Hiroshi L. Tanaka

, they are caused by severe droughts. The water shortage in the Tokyo region in 1964 was caused by the severe drought that occurred in 1964–65 ( IDI 1998 ), rapid population growth due to the urbanization of the Tokyo region after the Second World War, and a rapid increase in water demand during the Olympics ( Takahasi and Uitto 2004 ; Takahasi 2009 ). However, except for the water shortage in 1964, all of the other water shortages were caused by severe droughts. Although Japan has repeatedly faced

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GEORGE REEDER

month. That t.hc?re appears to bc. some connection betweon the reversing of the upper curronts usunl enstward move- ment and drought. 1s furt,Iier brought, out By the following r6sum6 :.Sulnrquent weather conditions.?routll, Ma\. to midJuly. Sr.asnna1de iiuumrr. l)miith, Map to Srptemlwr. Drotitll, Wet dcsson. Ma]. to mid-August.Drouth. last week June to d d -Drouth July confined mostly toDmuth. last woek Msv to first.\UCllht.rentrzi Miskouri.week Augnst. Rainfall June 4-Jiily S, 5? per rent Of 8

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Zengchao Hao and Amir AghaKouchak

1. Introduction Drought is one of the most damaging natural hazards and could result in devastating effects to social and ecological systems. The annual economic damage of droughts across the continental United States is estimated to be $6–8 billion on average ( FEMA 1995 ). The 2002 widespread drought over large portions of 30 states resulted in estimated damages–costs of over $10 billion ( Lott and Ross 2006 ). In 2010, two major droughts, which occurred in Somalia and Thailand, together

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Steven M. Quiring

1. Introduction Drought is a complex phenomenon that is difficult to accurately describe because its definition is both spatially variant and context dependent. Therefore a uniform method for defining and monitoring drought conditions and quantifying the severity of drought does not exist. There are two main types of drought definitions: conceptual and operational. Conceptual definitions are formulated in general terms and they are used to help explain what a drought is. Operational definitions

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Anne Steinemann, Sam F. Iacobellis, and Daniel R. Cayan

1. Introduction Drought causes substantial impacts throughout the United States ( NCDC 2013 ). It can develop quickly or insidiously and elude characterization until damage has already occurred. A tenet of drought preparedness is that sound indicators can help decision-makers and the public to detect and assess drought conditions and take actions to reduce impacts ( NIDIS 2006 ). Indicators are variables to define and characterize drought conditions (e.g., Redmond 1991 ; Steinemann et al

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Lingcheng Li, Dunxian She, Hui Zheng, Peirong Lin, and Zong-Liang Yang

1. Introduction China is one of the major “hot spots” for high-intensity droughts and has suffered from large drought-induced socioeconomic losses over the past several decades ( Zhai et al. 2010 ; Wang and Chen 2014 ; Yu et al. 2014 ; Herrera-Estrada et al. 2017 ). The average drought-related economic loss is approximately 35% of the total losses related to natural disasters in China ( Song et al. 2003 ). The vulnerability to droughts is especially highlighted because 22% of the world

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