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What is the used database in MDM (Meteorological Drought Monitoring) software?

Monitoring is normally performed using drought indices. Drought indices provide decision makers with information on drought severity and can be used to trigger drought contingency plans, if they are available.Many drought indices have been developed to date. Drought indices are quantitative measures that characterize drought levels by assimilating data from one or several variables (indicators) such as precipitation and evapotranspiration into a single numerical value. Such an index is more readily useable than raw indicator data. The nature of drought indices reflects different events and conditions; they can reflect the climate dryness anomalies (mainly based on precipitation) or correspond to delayed agricultural and hydrological impacts such as soil moisture loss or lowered reservoir levels.

The development and implementation of a drought index heavily depends on data availability (Steinemann et al. 2005). Earlier drought indices used meteorological data readily available from synoptic meteorological stations (Niemeyer 2008). For monitoring meteorological drought we need different weather data as input data, but for monitoring rain-based drought indicies, we need only precipitation data. The MDM software calculates rain-based meteorological drought indices, namely SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index), DI (deciles index), PN (Percent of Normal Index), RAI (Rainfall Anomaly Index), EDI (effective drought index), CZI (China-Z index), MCZI (modified CZI), and ZSI (Z-Score Index) in form of yearly, seasonally, monthly and moving average for 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, and 48 months.

There is a database of AgMERRA in this software that presents daily precipitation, since the eight indices just use precipitation data, so we’ve added precipitation data of AgMERRA. Based on the NASA Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) outputs (Rienecker et al., 2011), the AgMERRA global gridded climate dataset (0.25°×0.25° horizontal resolution; ~25 km) provided daily, high-resolution and continuous meteorological datasets for the period 1980–2010 and was advocated to be useful for agricultural and meteorological projects (Ruane et al., 2015). For More info you can read AgMerra Drought paper.

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