From 2010-2015, Texas experienced a wild hydrological rollercoaster, marked with both extreme drought and wet conditions. A new NOAA web application allows users to take a deeper look into this recent multi-year Texas drought and ongoing scientists’ efforts to understand it.
Drought is one of the most common and costly natural disasters in the U.S., averaging $9.5 billion per year in damages since 1980. Unlike other meteorological hazards, drought can strike nearly any region of the country at any time of the year.
Given the recent record-breaking precipitation deficits and scorching summer temperatures, as well as the unique set of causes and impacts of each of the nation’s historic droughts, it is important to understand the complex evolution of these significant events.
Called a "Story Map,” the web app recounts the phenomena that sparked and busted the drought and describes the ups and downs along the way, through a highly visual and interactive user experience.
Key features include explorable U.S. Drought Monitor maps, relevant research highlights, photos of drought impacts, informative images and video clips, and contributions from scientists. Contributors include Kathy Bogan (National Integrated Drought Information System; NIDIS), Mark Svoboda (National Drought Mitigation Center), Andrew Hoell (NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory), and John Nielsen-Gammon (Texas A&M University).
The story map was created by NOAA’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program and highlights MAPP-NIDIS funded research to better monitor, understand, and predict drought.
To view the story map, visit: https://noaa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=dffc0cc0063f44c7a2ad2f572726dd09 and https://www.drought.gov/drought/dry-texas-autumn-exceptional-drought-and-back
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.
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