National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Local Drought Coordination and Communication

Wednesday, July 29th at 2pm Eastern

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This webinar will showcase examples of effective, local drought coordination and communication in three regions:

  • Maggie Hurwitz will review the format and issuance guidelines for NWS Drought Information Statements

  • Ray Wolf will discuss how Central Region manages WFO input to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  Also, he will review Central Region's drought status report template and how it's used,  

  • Aaron Jacobs will describe how an area with annual precipitation normals from 50 inches to more than 200 inches experienced drought. In spring 2019, Southeast Alaska was classified as being in an extreme drought from large deficits of precipitation that caused a wide variety of impacts. The biggest impact was high electric costs due to very low hydropower reservoirs and increased use of expensive diesel generators. The Metlakatla Indian Community (MIC) reached out to the NWS for added support to help mitigate the drought impacts. WFO Juneau provided weekly briefing to MIC so they could better manage their limited water resources.

  • Rebecca Ward and Klaus Albertin will showcase efforts to monitor and communicate drought in North Carolina.   The North Carolina Drought Monitor Advisory Council (NC DMAC) relies on a broad coalition of agencies to determine drought conditions across the state, and helps these agencies to understand why decisions are made.  "Project Nighthawk" aims to improve drought information and communications for the agriculture, forestry, and water resources sectors in North Carolina. This presentation will highlight new resources and infographics designed to translate complex weather and climate information into formats that are accessible and understandable by a variety of audiences, as well as lessons learned about preferred communication formats and dissemination channels.

Maggie Hurwitz serves as the Hydroclimatologist within the NWS Climate Services Branch.

Ray Wolf is the Science and Operations Officer for WFO Davenport, Iowa.  He is responsible for managing operations, staff training, and local research.  Prior to arriving in Davenport in 1994, Ray was a forecaster at the NWS office in Denver, CO where he evaluated new forecast and warning science and technologies that formed the basis of the NWS Modernization.  He also served as an agricultural forecaster in the MidSouth, supporting farmers and producers in the region with weather and climate information.  Ray received an M.S. in Agricultural Climatology in 1985 and a B.S. in Meteorology in 1982 from Iowa State University.

Aaron Jacobs has been working at WFO Juneau, Alaska since the spring of 2001 and is currently the Senior Service Hydrologist. In this role, he is responsible for the NWS Hydrology Program from the north Gulf of Alaska coast through the Southeast Alaska to Dixon Entrance. This area covers the largest temperate rainforest in the word, Tongass National Forecast.

Klaus Albertin is the chair for the NC Drought Management Advisory Council. He supports state-wide water supply planning for the NC Division of Water Resources and is the point of contact for the Division in supporting NC climate resilience efforts. He has over 20 years’ experience in the water resources field.

Rebecca Ward is the Assistant State Climatologist for North Carolina and has been with the State Climate Office of North Carolina for seven years. Her work centers around applied climate research and extension within the state of North Carolina, including researching ways to monitor and communicate about drought. She also works closely with NC Cooperative Extension on various climate-related decision support tools and research, and by providing training on climate and climate change. Rebecca has BS degrees in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics, a MS degree in Atmospheric Science, and is currently working toward her PhD in Science Education, all from NC State University. 

Please join us July 29th!