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Zachary T. Leasor
,
Steven M. Quiring
, and
Mark D. Svoboda

1. Introduction Drought is characterized by precipitation deficits that have an effect on both the environment and its ecosystems ( Heim 2002 ). Drought is one of the most complex natural hazards because it is difficult to quantify drought severity ( Wilhite and Pulwarty 2017 ) and assess drought impacts given the large number of systems affected ( Wilhite 2000 ). The task of monitoring drought conditions and defining drought severity is further complicated because the characteristics of

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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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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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Caily Schwartz
,
Tonya Haigh
,
Mark Svoboda
, and
Madeline Goebel

1. Introduction Droughts have a large economic impact and can affect ecological and social processes due to the disruption of normal water availability. Between the years 1980–2022, an average of $7 billion was lost to drought each year through direct (crop or animal loss) or indirect impacts (increase in price of goods; NCEI 2022 ; Smith and Katz 2013 ; Smith and Matthews 2015 ). Droughts lack discrete boundaries and are difficult to define. Conventional drought is thought of as a

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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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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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Trent W. Ford
,
Jason A. Otkin
,
Steven M. Quiring
,
Joel Lisonbee
,
Molly Woloszyn
,
Junming Wang
, and
Yafang Zhong

1. Introduction Flash drought is characterized by unusually rapid drought intensification over subseasonal time scales, which reduces lead time for preparation, response, and management to drought conditions ( Otkin et al. 2022 ). Although precipitation deficits are a prerequisite for all types of drought, flash drought is often caused by concurrent precipitation deficit and elevated evapotranspiration due to high temperatures, low humidity, strong winds, abundant solar radiation, or a

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

1. Introduction Drought is a natural and recurring feature of midwestern United States hydroclimate ( Diaz 1983 ; Englehart and Douglas 2003 ) and has meaningful effects on the region’s socioeconomic well-being. The definition of the midwestern United States, referred to as the Midwest and shown in Fig. 1a , is taken from the U.S. Census Bureau (2021) . Kentucky is also included because it is part of the Midwest Drought Early Warning System ( National Integrated Drought Information System

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Jason A. Otkin
,
Tonya Haigh
,
Anthony Mucia
,
Martha C. Anderson
, and
Christopher Hain

1. Introduction The comprehensive monitoring of agricultural and ecological drought conditions during the growing season requires a suite of datasets that can capture different aspects of a drought event, such as below-normal precipitation, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration (ET); increased evaporative demand; and associated deteriorations in vegetation health. In recent years, the proliferation of drought and vegetation indices derived from satellite remote sensing observations has promoted

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Jason A. Otkin
,
Martha C. Anderson
,
Christopher Hain
, and
Mark Svoboda

1. Introduction Drought is an intrinsic feature of the climate system that adversely affects the economy and can lead to substantial social displacements owing to job losses and lower economic output. During the past decade, severe drought conditions have enveloped large areas of the United States, with some regions remaining entrenched in drought for many years. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM; http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ ) ( Svoboda et al. 2002 ), at the peak of the 2012

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