WMO and UNCCD Co-Sponsored Expert Workshop Develops Universal Drought Index for Climate Risk Management
15 December 2009: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) co-sponsored the Inter-Regional Workshop on Indices and Early Warning Systems for Drought, which took place at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, US, from 8-11 December 2009.
The workshop, which gathered 54 international experts, agreed on the use of a universal meteorological drought index for more effective drought monitoring and climate risk management. In particular, workshop participants advised that the Standardized Precipitation Index should be used to characterize meteorological droughts by all National Meteorological and Hydrological Services around the world.
As a next step, the WMO will develop a user manual on this Index and establish two working groups with the objective of recommending, by the end of 2010, indices for global use to cope with agricultural and hydrological droughts.
Other co-sponsors of the workshop included the School of Natural Resources and the National Drought Mitigation Centre of the University of Nebraska, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture.[WMO Press Release]