Making sense of flash drought: definitions, indicators, and where we go from here

Article


Lisonbee, Joel, Woloszyn, Molly and Skumanich, Marina. 2021. "Making sense of flash drought: definitions, indicators, and where we go from here." Journal of Applied and Service Climatology. 2021 (1), pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.46275/JOASC.2021.02.001
Article Title

Making sense of flash drought: definitions, indicators, and where we go from here

Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsLisonbee, Joel (Author), Woloszyn, Molly (Author) and Skumanich, Marina (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Applied and Service Climatology
Journal Citation2021 (1), pp. 1-19
Number of Pages19
Year2021
Place of PublicationUnited States
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.46275/JOASC.2021.02.001
Web Address (URL)https://stateclimate.org/article/making-sense-of-flash-drought/
Abstract

The topic of 'Flash Drought' is rapidly gaining attention within both the research and drought management communities. This literature review aims to synthesize the research to-date and provide a basis for future research on the topic. Specifically, our review is focused on documenting the range of definitions of 'flash drought' being proposed in the research community. We found that the term first appeared in the peer-reviewed literature in 2002, and by 2020 has become an area of active research. Within that 18-year span, 'flash drought' has been given 29 general descriptions, and 20 papers have provided measurable, defining criteria used to distinguish a flash drought from other drought. Of these papers, 11 distinguish flash drought as a rapid-onset drought event while eight distinguish flash drought as a short-term or short-lived, yet severe, drought event and one paper considers flash drought as both a short-lived and rapid onset event. Of the papers that define a flash drought by its rate of onset, the rate proposed ranges from 5 days to 8 weeks. Currently, there is not a universally accepted definition or criteria for 'flash drought', despite recent research that has called for the research community to adopt the principle of rapid-intensification of drought conditions.

Keywordsflash drought
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020370101. Adverse weather events
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Sciences
University of Colorado Boulder, United States
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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