Expanding D0 in Central NC Utilizing 0-200cm RSoM

Expanding D0 in Central NC Utilizing 0-200cm RSoM in Conjunction with 30-90 Day Precip Deficits

Introduction

The North Carolina Drought Management and Advisory Council (NCDMAC) has a teleconference each Tuesday afternoon to discuss drought conditions and submit recommended changes to the U.S. Drought Monitor (http://drought.gov/drought). A variety of data are considered, such as streamflows, reservoir and monitored well levels, and agricultural reports. Relative soil moisture fields from NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (NASA/SPoRT- http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/sport), are newer datasets which have been introduced and evaluated over the past few months.

A Case from 10/28/2014

Below are 30, 60, and 90 day rainfall deficits, as well as the 0-200 cm relative soil moisture (RSoM) product from NASA/SPoRT. The circled area in each image corresponds to the area designated as ‘abnormally dry’ (D0) for the previous week. The RSoM (using a rather subjective 25% threshold) shows very strong correlation to rainfall deficits in the longer time frames (60 and 90 days), which are the fields typically used to help delineate low base flow in areas where reliable streamflow data is more sparse. The high resolution of the RSoM (which is more evident than can be seen in the downsized image), allows for sub-basin and sub-county scale delineation of areas of concern.SPoRT

 

Southerly expansion of D0 conditions were recommended (below), with the RSoM’s weighing heavily on the decision to do so. The U.S. Drought Monitor author for the week, Brian Fuchs, was on the call and requested information concerning the NASA/SPoRT product suite. He was provided LIS  links and information.

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3 thoughts on “Expanding D0 in Central NC Utilizing 0-200cm RSoM

  1. Great post, Raleigh, NC! We have greatly appreciated your active participation in this 3-month LIS assessment. It is good to see the utility of LIS soil moisture output being manifested by end-users. Thanks!

  2. I’ll “third” those comments! Great application of the data to the drought evaluation process. Please let us know about any followup from Brian Fuchs, but as an active contributor to the US Drought Monitor, I may follow up with him anyway. It’s also good to see the beginnings of some pattern recognition with the data, and perhaps the development of subjective thresholds for other drought proxies. Although this is the end of the official assessment period, we’ll be interested in following up at some point in the near future to see if the SPoRT LIS data remain as an integral part of the drought evaluation process at the RAH office and the NC state climate office.

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