Date of this Version
Published in Drought and Drought Mitigation in Europe, edited by Jürgen V. Vogt and Francesca Somma, pp. 149–160 (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000).
Drought is a normal, recurring feature of climate. The characteristics of this hazard, along with its far-reaching impacts, make its effects on society, economy, and environment difficult to identify and quantify. A national drought watch system has been recommended as a necessary component of drought assessment and management. The National Drought Mitigation Center, in collaboration with others, has undertaken a number of drought watch activities for the past few years, using a variety of resources available over the Internet. These resources include tools such as the Standardized Precipitation Index, a new drought index that is more reliable for detecting emerging drought conditions.