The National Drought Mitigation Center Drought Atlas project is intended to provide a wide range of decision makers with historical drought information and a web-based tool to visualize and assess their risk to drought. A station-based approach lets you find the station closest to your area of interest as well as a cluster of stations that statistically has shown similar precipitation attributes. The stations with the longest period of record, a minimum of 40 years, with the most complete record, were used to compute both the climatological and drought information to provide users with information from the best station data available, through 2017.
Why a drought atlas? With every drought, people ask, “How does this drought compare … ?”, and the comparisons are usually to the most recent drought, the drought of record for an area, or a historical drought such as the Dust Bowl that is remembered even beyond the area that it affected. Until now, the answers haven’t been readily available for individual stations, and more often than not have only been available for climate divisions. The NDMC Drought Risk Atlas will answer all of these questions and provide user-friendly access to the data.
The drought atlas project also recognizes that not every drought index is ideal for every location. By providing several different indices with multiple time steps, the Drought Risk Atlas gives users a vast menu of options to study and investigate drought for their region.