National Drought Mitigation Center


Brief mentions January 2024

January 26, 2024

A farmer sprays cover crops to prepare the field for planting west of Holdrege, Nebraska. University Communication.

By NDMC Communications

New paper provides insight on flash drought definitions 

Due to inadequate definitions of flash drought, these events are underrepresented in generic global flash drought assessments and research. A new paper seeks to provide more detailed descriptions and analysis of flash drought definitions and impacts. The authors conducted a comprehensive survey to gather information on local nomenclature, characteristics, and impacts of flash droughts worldwide to fill the current research gap. NDMC drought impacts researcher Kelly Smith is one of the authors. Read “Flash Drought Typologies and Societal Impacts: A Worldwide Review of Occurrence, Nomenclature, and Experiences of Local Populations” in Weather, Climate and Society.   

Article evaluates cover crop performance in Nebraska 

Fall-planted cover crop within a continuous corn system can mitigate impacts of increased temperature and variability in precipitation patterns. A new article provides insight into how climate change can impact the performance of cereal rye cover crop. Authors simulated the effects of cereal rye on no-till continuous corn yield and soil properties under historical and projected climate in eastern Nebraska.  NDMC climatologist Tsegaye Tadesse is one of the authors. Read “Cover crop performance under a changing climate in continuous corn system over Nebraska” in the Journal of Environmental Quality

Study brings more clarity to drought monitoring tools 

Despite vast improvements in drought monitoring tools in recent decades, the best drought-monitoring tools for a given location aren’t always clear. A new study summarizes the results of user engagement and published literature to help users understand which drought-monitoring tools to use for local conditions. Additionally, the authors held workshops and distributed surveys to assess the perceived performance of drought indicators for various climate types. NDMC climatologist Deb Bathke is one of the authors. Read "A Review of User Perceptions of Drought Indices and Indicators Used in the Diverse Climates of North America" in Atmosphere.  

Research finds linkage between Great Plains drought and oceanic teleconnections 

Drought has wide-ranging and costly agricultural impacts. A newly published paper seeks to identify areas of the Great Plains where drought has the strongest relationship to oceanic teleconnections. It focuses on Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas — the second through seventh most productive states in terms of crop and livestock production. Results show that most of this region displays a relationship between drought and the El Niño—Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation. NDMC research assistant Grace Kirchner is one of the authors. Read “Drought in the Breadbasket of America and the Influence of Oceanic Teleconnections” in Hydrology