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Article
Utilizing Humidity and Temperature Data to Advance Monitoring and Prediction of Meteorological Drought
Climate
  • Ali Behrangi, California Institute of Technology
  • Paul C. Loikith, Portland State University
  • Eric J. Fetzer, California Institute of Technology
  • Hai M. Nguyen, California Institute of Technology
  • Stephanie L. Granger, California Institute of Technology
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
11-18-2015
Subjects
  • Climatic changes,
  • Precipitation variability -- United States,
  • Atmospheric water vapor -- Environmental aspects
Abstract
The fraction of land area over the Continental United States experiencing extreme hot and dry conditions has been increasing over the past several decades, consistent with expectation from anthropogenic climate change. A clear concurrent change in precipitation, however, has not been confirmed. Vapor pressure deficit (VPD), combining temperature and humidity, is utilized here as an indicator of the background atmospheric conditions associated with meteorological drought. Furthermore, atmospheric conditions associated with warm season drought events are assessed by partitioning associated VPD anomalies into the temperature and humidity components. This approach suggests that the concurrence of anomalously high temperature and low humidity was an important driver of the rapid development and evolution of the exceptionally severe 2011 Texas and the 2012 Great Plains droughts. By classification of a decade of extreme drought events and tracking them back in time, it was found that near surface atmospheric temperature and humidity add essential information to the commonly used precipitation-based drought indicators and can advance efforts to determine the timing of drought onset and its severity.
Description

Copyright 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

DOI
10.3390/cli304099970628%
Persistent Identifier
http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/16735
Citation Information
Behrangi, A., Loikith, P., Fetzer, E., Nguyen, H., & Granger, S. (2015). Utilizing Humidity and Temperature Data to Advance Monitoring and Prediction of Meteorological Drought. Climate, 3(4), 999–1017