• drought;
  • prediction;
  • monitoring

[1] Severe droughts developed in the West and Southeast of the U.S. starting early in 2007. The development of the droughts is well monitored and predicted by our model-based Drought Monitoring and Prediction System (DMAPS). Using the North America Land Data Assimilation System (NLDAS) realtime meteorological forcing and the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) land surface model, DMAPS is capable of providing a quantitative assessment of the drought in near realtime. Using seasonal climate forecasts from NCEP's Climate Forecast System (CFS) as one input, DMAPS successfully predicted the evolution of the droughts several months in advance. The realtime monitoring and prediction of drought with the system will provide invaluable information for drought preparation and drought impact assessment at national and local scales.