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Drought Task Force (2021-2024)

The OAR Climate Program Office’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions and Projections (MAPP) Program organizes the Drought Task Force to coordinate the activities of researchers supported through the MAPP/NIDIS Fiscal Year 2020 grant competition “Characterizing and Anticipating U.S. Droughts’ Complex Interactions”. The goal of this research initiative is to advance the understanding of drought causes and predictability as well as drought modeling, prediction, and monitoring capabilities. This initiative builds on three previous MAPP Drought Task Force efforts, and decades of preceding research on drought, hydroclimate, and related modeling.

The core membership of the Task Force is comprised of MAPP/NIDIS-funded investigators from universities, NOAA, and other Federal centers and laboratories. Membership in the Task Force can also include invited scientists and other individuals from across the community with interest and expertise in Drought Task Force research areas.

Through monthly teleconferences, the Task Force provides a formal mechanism for PIs to communicate, coordinate, and collaborate. Via the Task Force, PIs share new datasets, methodologies, and results. There can also be emergent opportunities to synthesize collective efforts through technical reports, review articles, or journal special collections and engage with the rest of the community via workshops and meeting sessions. Preceding iterations of the Drought Task Force have a rich history of leading such activities. The Task Force also facilitates collaboration with other relevant activities inside and outside of NOAA, including international Drought research and activities.

The Drought Task Force is a three-year effort starting September 2020.

Task Force Function and Implementation


University of California Los Angeles 
Physical Sciences Laboratory

Terms of Reference

  • MAPP Program Management has selected four co-lead scientists for the Task Force. The co-leads will share leadership and organizational responsibilities throughout the three years of the Task Force.
  • The Task Force leads, with input from the broad Task Force membership, provide scientific leadership and establish activities for the Task Force. MAPP Program management provides programmatic guidance on Task Force activities as needed, working with the leads.
  • All PIs supported through the NIDIS/MAPP fiscal year 2020 drought competition are expected to participate in the Task Force as described in their proposals. Otherwise, participation in the Task Force is by invitation.
  • Most of the Task Force work will be conducted remotely via telecons or virtual meetings, or through meetings of opportunity.
NOAA Drought Task Force Report on the 2020-2021 Southwestern U.S. Drought.
This new report from the NOAA Drought Task Force highlights causes, context, climate change influence, and expectations regarding the drought's evolution.
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