Special Issue "Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lifeng Luo
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI USA
Interests: land-atmosphere interaction; climate extremes; hydrological prediction; regional climate modeling
Dr. L. Gwen Chen
Website
Guest Editor
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center/Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, University of Maryland and Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS/NOAA, College Park, MD, USA
Interests: drought prediction and monitoring; extreme events; hydroclimatology; hydrometeorology; hydrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Drought is a normal part of the climate, but is also one of the most costly natural hazards that affects many parts of the world. Most drought starts with precipitation deficits over a prolonged period of time as a meteorological drought, then propagates through the hydrological system to cause water shortages in soil moisture, snow, streamflow, and groundwater storage, thus affecting agriculture, environment, water resources, and human wellbeing. Characterizing drought and its spatiotemporal variability, understanding its causes and propagation behavior, being able to detect drought onset and demise and monitor its evolution, and exploring the predictability and prediction of drought at subseasonal-to-seasonal time scales are critical components of current drought research. Recent advances in these areas have shown promising progress in improving our ability to forecast meteorological and hydrological drought, and are invaluable for drought preparedness and mitigation.

We are organizing this Special Issue of Atmosphere to help build a collection of literature to reflect the state-of-the-art knowledge and understanding about meteorological and hydrological drought. We invite innovative contributions of original research and review articles that will stimulate the efforts to advance global and regional drought research. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Characterizing drought variability in space and time;
  • Understanding the physical mechanism and manifestation of drought;
  • The development of innovative drought indices;
  • Long-term changes in hydrological and meteorological drought;
  • New approaches to detecting drought onset at regional and global scales;
  • Sources of drought predictability and associated climate dynamics;
  • Drought prediction at subseasonal-to-seasonal time scales;
  • Probabilistic and deterministic drought recovery modeling and forecasting;
  • Drought propagation between different forms of drought and between regions;
  • Roles of human activities in the development of meteorological and hydrological drought;
  • Diagnosis and attribution of socioeconomic drought vulnerability and risk.

Dr. Lifeng Luo
Dr. L. Gwen Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Estimation of Low-Flow in South Korean River Basins Using a Canonical Correlation Analysis and Neural Network (CCA-NN) Based Regional Frequency Analysis
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110695 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Low-flow quantiles at ungauged locations are generally estimated based on hydrological methods, such as the drainage area ratio and frequency analysis methods. In practice, the drainage area ratio approach is a popular but simple linear model. When hydrologically nonlinear characteristics govern the runoff [...] Read more.
Low-flow quantiles at ungauged locations are generally estimated based on hydrological methods, such as the drainage area ratio and frequency analysis methods. In practice, the drainage area ratio approach is a popular but simple linear model. When hydrologically nonlinear characteristics govern the runoff process, the linear approach leads to significant bias. This study was conducted to develop an improved nonlinear approach using a canonical correlation analysis and neural network (CCA-NN)-based regional frequency analysis (RFA) for low-flow estimation. The jackknife technique was utilized to validate the two methods. The approaches were applied to 33 river basins in South Korea. In this work, we focused on two-year and five-year return periods. For the two-year return period, the BIAS, RMSE, and R2 were 0.013, 0.511, and 0.408 with the RFA, respectively, and −0.042, 1.042, and 0.114 with the drainage area ratio method, respectively; whereas for the five-year return period, the respective indices were −0.018, 0.316, and 0.573 with RFA, respectively, and 0.166, 0.536, and 0.044 with the drainage area ratio method, respectively. RFA outperformed the drainage area ratio method based on its high prediction accuracy and ability to avoid the bias problem. This study indicates that machine learning-based nonlinear techniques have the potential for use in estimating reliable low-flows at ungauged sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Extreme Drought Events over Brazil from 2011 to 2019
Atmosphere 2019, 10(11), 642; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10110642 - 24 Oct 2019
Cited by 16
Abstract
Drought-related disasters are among the natural disasters that are able to cause large economic and social losses. In recent years, droughts have affected different regions of Brazil, impacting water, food, and energy security. In this study, we used the Integrated Drought Index (IDI), [...] Read more.
Drought-related disasters are among the natural disasters that are able to cause large economic and social losses. In recent years, droughts have affected different regions of Brazil, impacting water, food, and energy security. In this study, we used the Integrated Drought Index (IDI), which combines a meteorological-based drought index and remote sensing-based index, to assess the drought events from 2011 to 2019 over Brazil. During this period, drought events were observed throughout the country, being most severe and widespread between the years 2011 and 2017. In most of the country, the 2014/15 hydrological year stands out due to the higher occurrence of severe and moderate droughts. However, drought intensity and observed impacts were different for each region, which is shown by the different case studies, assessing different types of impacts caused by drought in Brazil. Thus, it is fundamental to evaluate the impacts of droughts in a continental country such as Brazil, where a variety of vegetation, soil, land use, and especially different climate regimes predominate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
A Spatial and Temporal Risk Assessment of the Impacts of El Niño on the Tropical Forest Carbon Cycle: Theoretical Framework, Scenarios, and Implications
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100588 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Strong El Niño events alter tropical climates and may lead to a negative carbon balance in tropical forests and consequently a disruption to the global carbon cycle. The complexity of tropical forests and the lack of data from these regions hamper the assessment [...] Read more.
Strong El Niño events alter tropical climates and may lead to a negative carbon balance in tropical forests and consequently a disruption to the global carbon cycle. The complexity of tropical forests and the lack of data from these regions hamper the assessment of the spatial distribution of El Niño impacts on these ecosystems. Typically, maps of climate anomaly are used to detect areas of greater risk, ignoring baseline climate conditions and forest cover. Here, we integrated climate anomalies from the 1982–1983, 1997–1998, and 2015–2016 El Niño events with baseline climate and forest edge extent, using a risk assessment approach to hypothetically assess the spatial and temporal distributions of El Niño risk over tropical forests under several risk scenarios. The drivers of risk varied temporally and spatially. Overall, the relative risk of El Niño has been increasing driven mainly by intensified forest fragmentation that has led to a greater chance of fire ignition and increased mean annual air temperatures. We identified areas of repeated high risk, where conservation efforts and fire control measures should be focused to avoid future forest degradation and negative impacts on the carbon cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Independent Aridity and Drought Pieces of Evidence Based on Meteorological Data and Tree Ring Data in Southeast Banat, Vojvodina, Serbia
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100586 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, aridity data and tree ring data were collected in Northern Serbia, in Southeast (SE) Banat, a subregion within Vojvodina, and Vojvodina at large. They were each investigated independently. The De Martonne Aridity Index and the Forestry Aridity Index are derived [...] Read more.
In this study, aridity data and tree ring data were collected in Northern Serbia, in Southeast (SE) Banat, a subregion within Vojvodina, and Vojvodina at large. They were each investigated independently. The De Martonne Aridity Index and the Forestry Aridity Index are derived from examining the relationship between precipitation and surface air temperature data sets sourced from seven meteorological stations in SE Banat, and from 10 meteorological stations located in Vojvodina as a whole. Vojvodina is a large territory and used as the control area, for the period 1949–2017. The Palmer Drought Severity Index was derived for the period 1927–2016, for both SE Banat and the totality of Vojvodina. The results of the Tree Ring Width Index were obtained from samples collected in or around the villages of Vlajkovac and Šušara, both located in SE Banat, for the period 1927–2017. These tree ring records were compared with three previous aridity and drought indices, and the meteorological data on the surface air temperature and the precipitation, with the objective being to evaluate the response of tree growth to climate dynamics in the SE Banat subregion. It was noted that the significant positive temperature trends recorded in both areas were too insufficient to trigger any trends in aridity or the Tree Ring Width Index, as neither displayed any change. Instead, it appears that these climatic parameters only changed in response to the precipitation trend, which remained unchanged during the investigated period, rather than in response to the temperature trend. It appears that the forest vegetation in the investigated areas was not affected significantly by climate change in response to the dominant temperature increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Influences of Temporal and Spatial Drought Variation in the Andean High Mountain Basin
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10090558 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Climate change threatens the hydrological equilibrium with severe consequences for living beings. In that respect, considerable differences in drought features are expected, especially for mountain-Andean regions, which seem to be prone to climate change. Therefore, an urgent need for evaluation of such climate [...] Read more.
Climate change threatens the hydrological equilibrium with severe consequences for living beings. In that respect, considerable differences in drought features are expected, especially for mountain-Andean regions, which seem to be prone to climate change. Therefore, an urgent need for evaluation of such climate conditions arises; especially the effects at catchment scales, due to its implications over the hydrological services. However, to study future climate impacts at the catchment scale, the use of dynamically downscaled data in developing countries is a luxury due to the computational constraints. This study performed spatiotemporal future long-term projections of droughts in the upper part of the Paute River basin, located in the southern Andes of Ecuador. Using 10 km dynamically downscaled data from four global climate models, the standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index (SPEI) index was used for drought characterization in the base period (1981–2005) and future period (2011–2070) for RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 of CMIP5 project. Fitting a generalized-extreme-value (GEV) distribution, the change ratio of the magnitude, duration, and severity between the future and present was evaluated for return periods 10, 50, and 100 years. The results show that magnitude and duration dramatically decrease in the near future for the climate scenarios under analysis; these features presented a declining effect from the near to the far future. Additionally, the severity shows a general increment with respect to the base period, which is intensified with longer return periods; however, the severity shows a decrement for specific areas in the far future of RCP 4.5 and near future of RCP 8.5. This research adds knowledge to the evaluation of droughts in complex terrain in tropical regions, where the representation of convection is the main limitation of global climate models (GCMs). The results provide useful information for decision-makers supporting mitigating measures in future decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Flash Drought Characteristics Based on U.S. Drought Monitor
Atmosphere 2019, 10(9), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10090498 - 27 Aug 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Understanding the characteristics of flash drought events and further predicting the onset of such events on subseasonal timescales is of critical importance for impact assessment, disaster mitigation, and loss prevention. In this study, we employ a rate-of-change approach and define a flash drought [...] Read more.
Understanding the characteristics of flash drought events and further predicting the onset of such events on subseasonal timescales is of critical importance for impact assessment, disaster mitigation, and loss prevention. In this study, we employ a rate-of-change approach and define a flash drought event as a drought event with greater than or equal to two categories degradation in a four-week period based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Unlike conventional drought, which can occur year-round and everywhere in the United States, flash drought has preferred seasons and locations to occur, mostly in the warm season and over the central United States. Widespread flash drought over the United States is largely correlated with La Niña episodes. In contrast with conventional drought, which is mainly driven by precipitation deficits, anomalously high evapotranspiration rates, caused by anomalously high temperatures, winds, and/or incoming radiation, are usually present before the onset of flash drought. Comparing to precipitation and soil moisture, evapotranspiration typically has the largest decline rate during the fast-development phase. Three-month Standardized Precipitation Indexes are mostly dry right before flash drought onset, but large deficits are not required. As a result, monitoring rapid changes in evapotranspiration, along with precipitation and soil moisture conditions, can provide early warnings of flash drought development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Responses of Precipitation in China to El Niño and Positive Indian Ocean Dipole Modes
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070372 - 03 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Using composite, regular, and partial regression analyses in the six consecutive seasons from spring of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-/Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)-developing year through summer following the ENSO/IOD mature phase, the individual and combined impacts of El Niño and positive Indian Ocean [...] Read more.
Using composite, regular, and partial regression analyses in the six consecutive seasons from spring of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-/Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)-developing year through summer following the ENSO/IOD mature phase, the individual and combined impacts of El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole (pIOD) on the evolution of precipitation in China are diagnosed for the period 1950–2013. It is shown that the seasonal responses of precipitation in China to El Niño and pIOD events, and their relationship with the large-scale atmospheric circulations, differ from one season to another. For the pure El Niño years, there is a seasonal reversal of precipitation over southeastern and northwestern China, with deficient precipitation occurring in these two regions before the onset of anomalous wet conditions in the developing autumn. Meanwhile, North China tends to be drier than normal in the developing seasons, but wetter than normal in the decaying seasons. For the pure pIOD events, southern China suffers a precipitation deficit (surplus) in the developing spring (summer and autumn). Furthermore, both North China and northwestern China experience excessive precipitation in the developing autumn and decaying summer. In addition, there is reduced precipitation in northeastern China during both the developing and decaying summers, whereas increased precipitation occurs in the developing autumn and decaying winter. For the combined years, southern China experiences enhanced moisture supply and suffers from increased precipitation from the developing summer through the subsequent spring, but reduced precipitation in the developing spring and decaying summer. Similar to the pure El Niño, northwestern (North) China becomes wetter than normal after the developing summer (autumn) in the combined years. In general, the ENSO/IOD-related precipitation variability could be explained by the associated anomaly circulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Drought Events and Correlations with Large-Scale Ocean–Atmospheric Patterns of Variability: A Case Study in Xinjiang, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10020094 - 21 Feb 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
This research analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of drought in Xinjiang (northwestern China) between 1961 and 2015 using the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). Furthermore, the correlations between Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)/El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and drought were explored. The results suggested an [...] Read more.
This research analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of drought in Xinjiang (northwestern China) between 1961 and 2015 using the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). Furthermore, the correlations between Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)/El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and drought were explored. The results suggested an obvious trend toward aggravated drought, with a significant inflection point in 1997, after which the frequency of drought increased sharply. Spatially, the increase in drought occurred largely in southern and eastern Xinjiang, where occurrences of moderate and extreme drought have become more frequent during the last two decades, whereas northwestern Xinjiang and the Pamir Plateau showed wetting trends. Empirical orthogonal function analysis (EOF) of drought patterns showed a north–south antiphase and an east–west antiphase distribution. The positive (negative) phase of the AMO was related to increased (decreased) drought in Xinjiang, particularly after 1997. During a warm phase (El Niño), major droughts occurred over northern Xinjiang, but they lagged by 12 months. However, not all El Niño and La Niña events were responsible for drought events in northern Xinjiang during this period, and other drivers remain to be identified. This study suggests the possibility of AMO and ENSO links to drought in Xinjiang, but further analysis is needed to better understand such mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorological and Hydrological Droughts)
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