Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version



Published in Drought in the Great Plains: Research on Impacts and Strategies, Proceedings of the Workshop on Research in Great Plains Drought Management Strategies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 26-28, 1979, edited by Norman J. Rosenberg (Littleton, CO: Water Resources Publications, 1980).


Copyright 1980 University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The quotation is from Tannehill's classic book on drought, published in 1947. Three decades have passed since Tannehill expressed this view. Millions of items of terrestrial and extra-terrestrial weather data have been collected. The computer now allows us to analyze these data with great rapidity. Have the advances which Tannehill suggested actually materialized? My purpose here is to evaluate our current ability to predict drought, as well as to assess the feasibility of achieving an improved capability in this field within the next decade.