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Richard R. Heim Jr. and Michael J. Brewer

( Heim 2002 ). Civilization has struggled to develop early warning and other response systems to address the drought problem, but the diversity of climates, range of sectors impacted, and inconsistency in available resources and data make even drought assessment—on a continental scale, let alone on a global scale—difficult ( Sivakumar 2009 ). This paper discusses the development of the Global Drought Monitor and Global Drought Monitor Portal, a coordinated effort to tackle the drought monitoring

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

scales. More recently, drought indices have been developed that take into consideration the multiscalar properties. A multiscalar index allows the user to examine wet and dry periods over a range of time scales. This is extremely important when monitoring hydrologic drought within a system that contains many surface water resources that each respond to accumulated P at different time scales. The standardized precipitation index (SPI; McKee et al. 1993 ) is based solely on accumulated P ( Guttman

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Zengchao Hao and Amir AghaKouchak

affected 8.9 million people ( Guha-Sapir 2011 ). Thus, drought monitoring and prediction is of critical importance for risk assessment and decision making, as well as for taking prompt and effective actions to avoid–reduce the effects of droughts. The development of a comprehensive drought monitoring system capable of providing early warning of a drought’s onset, severity, persistence, and spatial extent in a timely manner is a critical component in establishing a national drought policy or strategy

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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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Eric F. Wood, Siegfried D. Schubert, Andrew W. Wood, Christa D. Peters-Lidard, Kingtse C. Mo, Annarita Mariotti, and Roger S. Pulwarty

reauthorized and signed into law by President Obama in March 2014 ( U.S. Government 2014 ). Major foci of the reauthorized NIDIS Act include the identification of research, monitoring, and forecasting needs to enhance the predictive capability of drought early warnings on “(i) the length and severity of droughts; (ii) the contribution of weather events to reducing the severity or ending drought conditions; and (iii) regionally specific drought impacts” ( U.S. Government 2014 ). NIDIS has partnered with

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Marco Turco, Sonia Jerez, Markus G. Donat, Andrea Toreti, Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano, and Francisco J. Doblas-Reyes

evolving drought conditions is crucial to take early action to alleviate their impacts ( Pozzi et al. 2013 ; Hao et al. 2017 ). For instance, using the best and updated drought information available in drought-monitoring systems, authorities and water managers may establish better practices to optimize water use, improve control of environmental systems (e.g., forest-fire incidence) and plan measures for agriculture. To enable a proactive response, near-real-time observed data are of paramount

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Kelly Helm Smith, Andrew J. Tyre, Zhenghong Tang, Michael J. Hayes, and F. Adnan Akyuz

The U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly map showing the location and intensity of drought conditions, is assembled each week by a rotating team of authors assisted by a nationwide listserv of 450 expert interpreters of state and local climate conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor is based on a “convergence of evidence,” incorporating many streams of objective data, reconciled by expertise, including input and interpretation from state and local professionals, and observations about local conditions

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

environmental consequences that are less amenable to economic valuation. Furthermore, in the case of streamflow, the temporal lag between drought onset and its impact can be influenced by reservoir storage. Taken together, all of these factors highlight the importance of drought monitoring systems (DMSs) that can provide information about drought conditions at different time scales and for different water users. Common indicators of drought include precipitation, streamflow, and SM. However, long-term SM

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Mark Svoboda, Doug LeComte, Mike Hayes, Richard Heim, Karin Gleason, Jim Angel, Brad Rippey, Rich Tinker, Mike Palecki, David Stooksbury, David Miskus, and Scott Stephens

The Drought Monitor was started in spring 1999 in response to a need for improved information about the status of drought across the United States. It serves as an example of interagency cooperation in a time of limited resources. The Drought Monitor process also illustrates the creative use of Internet technologies to disseminate authoritative information about drought and to receive regional and local input that is in turn incorporated into the product. This paper describes the Drought Monitor and the interactive process through which it is created.

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Jonghun Kam, Kimberly Stowers, and Sungyoon Kim

). Social data from web searches and social media provide a new opportunity to develop and monitor social indicators, in particular for developed countries. Their statistical reliability should be further studied because of noise from irrelevant social events or topics to the search/interest term ( Murdock 2011 ). However, few studies attempt to understand and model drought awareness using web searches and social media data. A recent study ( Gonzales and Ajami 2017 ) tested the “rebounding” water use

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