Drought is a deficiency of moisture that results in adverse impacts on people, animals, or vegetation over a sizeable area. NOAA together with its partners provides short- and long-term Drought Assessments.
Drought Assessments
At the end of each month, CPC issues a long-term seasonal drought assessment. On Thursdays of each week, the CPC together with NOAA National Climatic Data Center, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, issues a weekly drought assessment called the United States Drought Monitor. These assessments review national drought conditions and indicate potential impacts for various economic sectors, such as agriculture and forestry.
Drought Index
In hydrologic terms, computed value which is related to some of the cumulative effects of a prolonged and abnormal moisture deficiency. (An index of hydrological drought corresponding to levels below the mean in streams, lakes, and reservoirs.)
Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
An experimental drought monitoring and early warning guidance tool. It examines how anomalous the atmospheric evaporative demand is for a given location and across a time period of interest.
Keetch-Byrum Drought Index
An index used to gage the severity of drought in deep duff and organic soils.
Palmer Drought Severity Index
(Abbrev. PDSI) - an index used to gage the severity of drought conditions by using a water balance equation to track water supply and demand. This index is calculated weekly by the National Weather Service.
United States Drought Monitor (USDM)
A multi-agency product that defines and highlights the severity of drought across the ConUS and OConUS based on expert interpretation of a multitude of indices.

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