The Drought and Grazing Climate Dashboard highlights several key near-real time climate and drought monitoring products for Arizona. These products including the U.S. Drought Monitor, 12-month Standardized Precipitation Index map, 12-month temperature ranking map, Fire Danger Rating map and 3-month Seasonal Precipitation Outlook were all discussed and chosen at a rancher/land manager workshop as key monitoring tools to support livestock grazing on public lands. These products update automatically either weekly for the U.S. Drought Monitor or monthly for the other maps.
SPI Explorer Tool
The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a widely used drought index that has several strengths including the ability to calculate precipitation anomalies at different timescales and the ability to interpret SPI units (standard deviations) in probabilistic terms. This tool allows users to explore SPI values and other historic climate data at specific locations by accessing gridded climate data (PRISM Climate). Data are accessed through the Applied Climate Information Web Service and analyzed and plotted using several R based packages.
myRAINgeLog is an online data management and visualization tool specifically designed for ranchers and land managers who collect and interpret cumulative precipitation observations at remote sites. The account-based tool allows users to collect, manage and analyze multiple gauges and share observations through a public mapping feature. Custom reports can be generated for each gauge with accompanying charts of observations against historical climate conditions and summaries of field notes and photos entered by the user.
The Precipitation Logbook Generator was developed to generate supporting reference climate information to be used with simple accumulation gauges, often deployed in remote locations. These types of gauges are often read infrequently and at irregular intervals making the interpretation of the precipitation observations difficult without support climate context. This tool generates a reference chart and table for a gauge location by leveraging a spatially continuous, gridded, long-term dataset of daily precipitation estimates for all locations in the continental United States. The chart and table indicate ‘normal’ and extreme wet and dry cumulative precipitation amounts for a specified season based on historical estimates for the gauge location. When an observation is made in the field, the entry for that date can be compared to the typical and extreme historical values to provide context and inform a possible management decision
DroughtView is an online tool that provides easy, web-based access to several near-real time and historical remote sensing and climate drought monitoring datasets. The tool can be used to track high-resolution (~250m) changes in remotely sensed ‘greenness’ (Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index) data collected on a bi-weekly basis from the NASA MODIS satellite. This index can be particularly useful for tracking changes in rangeland conditions related to livestock forage production and forest drought stress which can indicate longer-term drought impacts and wildfire risk.