Articles | Volume 25, issue 2
Research article
08 Feb 2021
Research article |  | 08 Feb 2021

Flash drought onset over the contiguous United States: sensitivity of inventories and trends to quantitative definitions

Mahmoud Osman, Benjamin F. Zaitchik, Hamada S. Badr, Jordan I. Christian, Tsegaye Tadesse, Jason A. Otkin, and Martha C. Anderson


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Latest update: 14 Jul 2024
Short summary
Our study of flash droughts' definitions over the United States shows that published definitions yield markedly different inventories of flash drought geography and frequency. Results suggest there are several pathways that can lead to events that are characterized as flash droughts. Lack of consensus across definitions helps to explain apparent contradictions in the literature on trends and indicates the selection of a definition is important for accurate monitoring of different mechanisms.