A Comparison of the Early Twenty-First Century Drought in the United States to the 1930s and 1950s Drought Episodes

Heim, Richard R.

Année de publication
The United States experienced a severe drought that peaked in 2012 and was characterized by near-record extent, record warmth, and record dryness in several areas. For some regions, the 2012 drought was a continuation of drought that began in earlier years and continued through 2014. The 1998-2014 drought episode is compared to the two other major drought episodes of the twentieth century in terms of duration, areal extent, intensity, and spatial pattern using operational datasets produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Centers for Environmental Information. It is characterized by more short-term dryness, more concurrent (regional) wetness, and warmer temperatures than the other two drought episodes. The implications of these differences for water resource managers and decision-makers are discussed.

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