Drought

A drought is a period of unusually persistent dry weather that persists long enough to cause serious problems such as crop damage and/or water supply shortages. The severity of the drought depends upon the degree of moisture deficiency, the duration, and the size of the affected area.

There are actually four different ways that drought can be defined.

  • Meteorological - a measure of departure of precipitation from normal. Due to climatic differences, what might be considered a drought in one location of the country may not be a drought in another location.
  • Agricultural - refers to a situation where the amount of moisture in the soil no longer meets the needs of a particular crop.
  • Hydrological - occurs when surface and subsurface water supplies are below normal.
  • Socioeconomic - refers to the situation that occurs when physical water shortages begin to affect people.

From the National Weather Service (NWS).

A Study of On-Farm Decision Making in an Era of Climate Change Climate forecasts suggest farmers in the Northeast will be faced with both challenges and opportunities. Currently, farmers and other land stewards manage the risks created by changeable weather patterns in many…

An Economic Case Study at Intervale Community Farm After severe drought in much of the Northeast in 2016, the following summer reminded us that the trend in the Northeast is for more rainfall. However, this rain is more often occurring in heavy downpours between periods of hot…

The following content is from a publication from the Forest Service Office of Sustainability and Climate, the full content can be viewed/downloaded in PDF Drought Effects Droughts can result in reduced growth rates, defoliation, and increased stress on vegetation, with…

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Mid-Atlantic corn and soybean yields show great variability in response to precipitation during critical growth stages. Long-term agricultural research provides unique insights into the impact of climate and weather on agricultural sustainability. The USDA-ARS Farming Systems…

A project designed to build a virtual consortium of Masters and Doctoral students working on climate adaptation in agriculture and forestry. Nominated by a university partner within the USDA Northeast Climate Hub network, GradCAP scholars work with Climate Hub leadership,…

How are climate change and weather variability affecting Northeastern producers? Farmers, foresters, and other land owners in the Northeast are already feeling the pressures of a changing climate and increasing weather variability. In recent years the Northeast has experienced…

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The National Drought Resilience Partnership is an effort to promote stronger drought resilience on federal lands. As a part of this effort, the U.S. Forest Service conducted a series of focused workshops across the country to understand the management opportunities and…