Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-313
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-313
 
07 Sep 2022
07 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Technical note: A stochastic framework for identification and evaluation of flash drought

Yuxin Li1,2, Sisi Chen1,2, Jun Yin1,2, and Xing Yuan1,2 Yuxin Li et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Hydrometeorological Disaster Mechanism and Warning of Ministry of Water Resources/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 2School of Hydrology and Water Resources, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

Abstract. The rapid development of droughts, referred to as flash droughts, can pose serious impacts on agriculture, ecosystem, human health, and society. However, its definition using pentad-average soil moisture could result in low accuracy of assessing the drought occurrence, making it difficult to analyze various factors controlling the formation of flash drought. Here we used a stochastic water balance framework to quantify the timing of drought as the first passage time of soil moisture dropping from a higher level to a lower one. Based on this framework, we can theoretically examine the nonlinear relationship between the timing of drought and various hydrometeorological factors and identify possible flash drought risks caused by less rainfall (e.g., long dry spells), higher evapotranspiration (e.g., extreme heatwaves), lower soil water storage capacity (e.g., deforestation), or a combination thereof. Applying this framework to the global datasets, we found that flash drought risks also exist in humid regions such as southern China and the northeastern United States, calling for particular attention to flash drought monitoring and mitigation.

Yuxin Li et al.

Status: open (until 02 Nov 2022)

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Yuxin Li et al.

Yuxin Li et al.

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Short summary
Flash drought is referred to the rapid development of drought events with fast decline of soil moisture, which can pose serious impacts on agriculture, ecosystem, human health, and society. While flash drought have received much research attention, there is no consensus on its definition. Here we used a stochastic water balance framework to quantify the timing of soil moisture crossing any given thresholds, providing an efficient tool for diagnosing and monitoring flash drought.