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I hope that those of our readers with Internet access will consider receiving future issues of Drought Network News online. We realize that some of you do not have access to the Internet, so we will continue to publish hard copies of the newsletter. If you are willing to receive the newsletter electronically, please contact Kim Klemsz as soon as possible. Our plan is to notify readers via email when each new issue of Drought Network News is available. Back issues of the newsletter are also available online.
This is a joint winter/spring issue of Drought Network News. It contains considerable discussion about drought indices and a description of a new product, the Drought Monitor, that is available on the World Wide Web. This new product is the result of a partnership formed in spring 1999 between the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. The Drought Monitor integrates climate information and information from a variety of indices to determine drought severity across the United States. This product is updated weekly and has been well received by technical specialists, policy makers, the media, and commercial groups. I encourage readers to visit the Drought Monitor website (http://enso.unl.edu/monitor/) to learn more about this activity and to consider how this approach might be modeled for other countries or regions.