Drought monitoring

"Drought monitoring involves measuring changes in precipitation, temperature, and surface and groundwater supplies, among other factors. Although some drought events (such as flash drought) can emerge relatively quickly, droughts are typically creeping, slowly emerging disasters that can be monitored over time as they develop. Identifying the types of impacts to which a region is vulnerable is important in selecting drought indicators for a particular drought monitoring and early warning process. A drought early warning system can then initiate actions that mitigate the impacts of drought on a community" (World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) 2016)


World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and Global Water Partnership (GWP). 2016. Handbook of Drought Indicators and Indices. Geneva: Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP). https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315265551-12.

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Space technologies for drought monitoring and management

The impacts of climate change are ever more apparent. The frequency and scale of devastation and destruction of weather hazards are on an increasing trend. According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report (IPCC, 2021) climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This will cause more intense droughts in many regions. Moreover, water-related extremes impact the quality of life disproportionately strong. Drought accounts for 25% of all losses from weather-related disasters in the United States of America (Hayes et al., 2012).

Real-time drought monitoring from Climate Hazards group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS)

Different parts of world are experiencing extreme hydrological hazards such as droughts, flooding and other related events. Droughts are associated with absence of rainfall occurrence over an extended period. According to the United Nations (2022), the frequency and intensity of drought events in the last two decades has increased by 29%. These figures are expected to increase further in the coming years due to climate change (Gunathilake et al., 2020). 


Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

Alpine Drought Observatory

Droughts are becoming an increasing concern in the Alps and in the lowland areas that receive Alpine water. The Alpine Drought Observatory (ADO) provides a tool for a quick and easy overview of the current drought situation in the Alpine region and past drought situations in the last 6 months as maps and the last 40 years as timeseries.



JAXA Climate Rainfall Watch

A need to monitor precipitation extremes from space is widely recognized, especially for regions where ground-based observations are limited or unavailable. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has developed the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) in the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The JAXA participated in the Space-based Weather and Climate Extremes Monitoring (SWCEM) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) by providing the GSMaP Near-real-time Rainfall Product.