Predicting the U.S. drought monitor using precipitation, soil moisture, and evapotranspiration anomalies. Part II: Intraseasonal drought intensification forecasts

David J. Lorenz, Jason A. Otkin, Mark Svoboda, Christopher R. Hain, Martha C. Anderson, Yafang Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Probabilistic forecasts of U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) intensification over 2-, 4-, and 8-week time periods are developed based on recent anomalies in precipitation, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture. These statistical forecasts are computed using logistic regression with cross validation. While recent precipitation, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture do provide skillful forecasts, it is found that additional information on the current state of the USDM adds significant skill to the forecasts. The USDM state information takes the form of a metric that quantifies the "distance" from the next-higher drought category using a nondiscrete estimate of the current USDM state. This adds skill because USDM states that are close to the next-higher drought category are more likely to intensify than states that are farther from this threshold. The method shows skill over most of the United States but is most skillful over the north-central United States, where the cross-validated Brier skill score averages 0.20 for both 2- and 4-week forecasts. The 8-week forecasts are less skillful in most locations. The 2- and 4-week probabilities have very good reliability. The 8-week probabilities, on the other hand, are noticeably overconfident. For individual drought events, the method shows the most skill when forecasting high-amplitude flash droughts and when large regions of the United States are experiencing intensifying drought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1963-1982
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate classification/regimes
  • Drought
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Precipitation
  • Short-range prediction
  • Soil moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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