The NDMC's climatologists are actively researching the best ways to monitor and communicate about drought. They work with researchers across the country and around the world on drought monitoring and agricultural meteorology.
The NDMC was instrumental in working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create and operationalize the U.S. Drought Monitor, which came on-line in 1999 and published its 500th weekly map in April 2009. The NDMC also produces a monthly suite of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) maps.
Our climatologists benefit from being one floor away from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, which facilitates collaboration on products such as the Daily Gridded SPI.
All of the NDMC's drought-monitoring products are user-oriented. Our climatologists actively collaborate with social scientists and other professionals to make scientific information as comprehensible as possible to the lay public. Workshops inform tool development. The Drought Impact Reporter is grounded in both social science and climatological drought monitoring.