Past Research

Spatial Patterns of Drought and other Natural Hazards in the U.S.

Research dates: January - August 2018
Investigator(s): Daniela Spade and Mark Shafer

SCIPP utilized the data archives of the United States Drought Monitor FEMA to produce a frequency-based analysis of drought and weather-related disaster declarations throughout the contiguous United States using Geographic Information Systems. The purpose of the analyses is twofold: First, a geographic assessment of the frequency of each category of drought in the contiguous United States is performed to address several common questions that arise when a region is experiencing a drought or is attempting to plan for future water resources, such as the frequency and average duration of drought in the region. Second, a spatial comparison is made between the dual frequencies of weather-related disaster declarations and drought, placing a spatial context in the ways in which droughts compare to other weather and climate extremes. This research was performed over the 2000 - 2017 time period at roughly the county level and is summarized in a technical report.