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North American Drought Briefing For Jan & Nov 2007 to Jan 2008. Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA February 14, 2008 Partners & Contributors. CPC: Kingtse Mo, Wanru Wu, Muthuvel Chelliah, Wesley Ebisuzaki, Yun Fan, Huug van den Dool, Wei Shi

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north american drought briefing for jan nov 2007 to jan 2008

North American Drought BriefingFor Jan & Nov 2007 to Jan 2008

Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NOAA

February 14, 2008

partners contributors

Partners & Contributors

CPC: Kingtse Mo, Wanru Wu, Muthuvel Chelliah, Wesley Ebisuzaki, Yun Fan, Huug van den Dool, Wei Shi

EMC: NLDAS Team: Ken Mitchell, Youlong Xia, Jesse Meng, Helin Wei

EMC: NAEFS Team: Zoltan Toth, Yuejian Zhu

NASA/GSFC: Brian Cosgrove, Chuck Alonge

Princeton Univ.: Eric Wood, Lifeng Luo, Justin Scheffield

Univ. of Washington: Andy Wood, Dennis Lettenmaier

Web Masters: Viviane Silva, Joe Harrison

Project Funded by NOAA CPPA


P from Nov 2007-Jan 2008

California: Strong intraseasonal oscillations

Southeast: Dec had some rain along the Gulf coast. No rain in Jan. Drought continues

Texas and Southern Plains: Drought is developing

Colorado: Rain in both Dec and Jan

Nov 2007-Jan2008



  • The Northern central US is getting dryer
  • Texas: drought started to develop.
  • California had some rain ( so less dry) in comparison with last month.
  • In the long termSPI6 or higher Severe drought still exists in the Southeast including parts of Florida.

Drought D0:SPI < -0.8

Moderate drought D1: -0.9 to -1.2

Severe drought D2: -1.3 to -1.5

Extreme drought D3: -1.6 to -1.9

Exceptional drought D4: SPI< -2

Ref: Svoboda et al. (2002)


Total SM percentile from RR (29-yr clim)

Ensemble SM mean(10-yr clim)

Southeast: dry

Pacific Northwest: Wet

Texas: getting dryer

Ohio, northern Plains : wet


Soil moisture percentiles NASA (29-yr clim) Cosgrove and Alonge


sm percentiles at different levels based on rr
SM Percentiles at Different Levels Based on RR

Drought D0:SM < 20%

Moderate drought D1: 10-20%

Severe drought D2: 5-10%

Extreme drought D3: 2-5%

Exceptional drought D4: <2%

Ref: Svoboda et al. (2002)

Texas and Dakota : dryness from 10cm to 1m, but into deep soil yet.

Southeast: SM dryness to the deep level


Monthly Streamflow Conditions

Southwest and mid-Atlantic states: dry

Northeast and Ohio Valley: wet

Southern Plains: getting dryer

California: coast normal & inland dry

sri3 and sri 6 u washington andy wood
SRI3 and SRI 6 U. Washington – Andy Wood


Standardized runoff index SRI

  • In comparison with the SPIs, they all suggest:
  • Southeast: severe drought
  • Texas: drought started to develop (only appears in spi3 and sri3, not spi6 or sri6 longer)
  • SRI shows California drought.




Snow Water Equivalent (mm/day)

NLDAS does not agree over the western mountain region: RR, Noah, VIC are positive and mosaic is negative

All shows negative anomalies over the Northeastern region


Weekly precipitation

2-8 Feb 2008

More precipitation over the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley, the Southeast is still very dry

Weekly soil moisture anom ensemble

hot spots
Hot Spots
  • California: Rainfall does not entirely influenced by the cold ENSO signal because of the strong MJO.
  • Southeast drought: any relief in sight?
  • Texas and southern Plains: Will cold ENSO make it worse?
ssts for drought over the southern plains and the southeast
SSTs for Drought over the Southern Plains and the Southeast

Pickup drought events based on SM percentiles over RFC10 (S-Plains) and RFC12 (Southeast) respectively

Make the composites of SSTA based on events

Cold SSTAs in the central Pac;

Warm SSTAs in the Atlantic and the N-Pac

Data source (SM) VIC 1915-2006 Andy wood

SST ersst: 1915-2006

sstas for jan 2008
SSTAs for Jan 2008

The ENSO forecasts indicate that the cold ENSO event will continue for the next 3 months.

The Atlantic SSTAs are decreasing (slowly since Nov).


Regional SM percentile Time Series

Because the land-atmosphere coupling is strong over the Southern Plains, the drought events last longer in comparison with droughts over the SE .

Using the VIC data (from 1915 on), we identify events

1917 May lasted 20 mos

1952 Jun Lasted 36 mos

1963 Apr lasted 16 mos

Most recent one was 2005 lasted 9 mos


Regional total Soil moisture percentiles

Time series

Overall, the duration for droughts in RFC12 (Southeast) is shorter than droughts in the RFC10 area.

The longest drought occurred in 1954. It lasted for 14 months

cfs downscaling princeton u
CFS Downscaling Princeton U

Jan 2008


Feb 2008

Forecasts started from Jan 2008


ESP Forecasts ENSO Based IC 20080203

Total SM Percentile Forecasts

1 month lead

3 month lead

2 month lead

University of Washington - Andy Wood

runoff percentiles forecasts ics 20080210
Runoff Percentiles Forecasts ICs 20080210

1 month

3 months

2 months

Southeast and Texas dryness continue for 1-2 months

The upper Missouri basin will get dryer

University of Washington - Andy Wood

  • Southeast: Drought is likely to continue.
  • California: The MJO has strong influence on rainfall. The convection related to the MJO does not in favor of rainfall in the next 15 days or so.
  • Pacific Northwest, the Northeast and the Ohio Valley: likely to be wet.
  • Drought is developing over the Southern Plains.
  • There is indication of dryness in south and north Dakota and part of Minnesota.
  • Areas needed to be monitored carefully: California and Southeast, Texas, Dakotas
thanks for new products
Thanks for New Products
  • Brian Cosgrove and Chuck Alonge:

Soil moisture percentiles based on 20+ year climatology (1979 on) from Mosaic and Noah

  • Andy Wood: SRI plots for runoff and SRI forecasts
  • Happy Valentine’s day!!!