In October of 2015, representatives from state and federal agencies representing broad areas of water, public safety, infrastructure and other management participated in the workshop, Texas and Oklahoma Extremes: Learning from the Recent Four-Year Drought and Spring Flooding Events. This event was sponsored by NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), the National Weather Service Southern Region, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC). This workshop was a NIDIS Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) activity with the goal of improving disaster reduction and building capacity for better decision-making relating to drought planning and mitigation.
The workshop focused on the successes, challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities for future collaboration related to the recent 2010-2015 drought and spring 2015 flood events. The workshop included presentations and discussions about the shift from extreme drought to floods in 2015 and tactics the participants’ agencies used to manage the impacts of those events. Discussions specifically focused on monitoring tools, agency coordination, unexpected impacts, successes and public outreach.