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Flash Drought

The sky should not look like this in Florida's rainy season.  This October 1, 2019 shot of Lake Theresa, in Deltona shows virtually clear skies with a few fast-moving cumulus clouds racing in on strong Atlantic easterlies.  These conditions have been present most of September and the first week of October leading to Flash Drought.

Flash Drought
What is flash drought?  Ask any lakefront property owner in Florida today and they'll tell you.  Over the past month zero rain has fallen and the land has gone from lush green to dead brown.  Unregulated lakes are losing water fast.  Lake levels are dropping so low in some cases that navigation is impossible.

In its simplest form, flash drought is the rapid onset of drought.  In contrast with conventional drought, which is mainly driven by lack of precipitation, flash drought usually includes abnormally high temperatures, winds, and/or incoming radiation that leads to abnormally high evapotranspiration (ET) rates.  Flash droughts occur more oven than perceived and can cause major agricultural losses if they are not predicted and detected in a timely manner. 

Flash drought has recently developed in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast USA regions.  The prediction of flash droughts on subseasonal timescales is of critical importance for impact assessment, disaster mitigation, and loss prevention.

Flash drought is a term we’re hearing a lot about recently, especially regarding the situation east of the Mississippi. But what is flash drought? Can it be predicted? New article on http://drought.gov  summarizes recent research from @NWSCPC. https://www.drought.gov/drought/news/predicting-flash-drought 

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The Objective short-term drought indicator blend percentiles map approximates drought-related impacts that respond to precipitation (and secondarily other factors) on time scales ranging from a few days to a few months, such as wildlife danger, non-irrigated agriculture, topsoil moisture, range and pasture conditions and unregulated streamflows.

10/1: NOAA’s EDDI tool shows how dry the atmosphere’s been over the SE and S. Rockies where has expanding in the past month.

See http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/eddi  and http://drought.gov 

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The longer term US Drought Monitor doesn't look as grim for the peninsula of Florida, but conditions remain painfully hot, dry, and windy.

The Climate Prediction Center still predicts that late October will become wetter for Florida.   We've seen these long-range predictions disproven often over the past 2 months.
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