Drought and Associated Impacts in the Great Plains of the United States—A Review

DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2013.46A2009   PDF   HTML   XML   5,972 Downloads   8,765 Views   Citations


The Great Plains region of the United States is susceptible to drought of all kinds including meteorological/climatological, agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic. Drought conditions in the region span varying spatial and temporal scales and the causes include: 1) certain synoptic conditions that favor drought such as mid-tropospheric ridging over the drought-affected area and a weak low-level jet; 2) sea surface temperature anomalies and associated teleconnections; 3) land-atmosphere coupling; and 4) anthropogenic effects. While drought can span as few as a couple of months, the most severe droughts can occur at the decadal scale such as the 1930s Dust Bowl, the worst drought in recent history from a societal standpoint. Such droughts in the Great Plains have widespread impacts on agriculture, water resources, human health, and the economy.

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J. Basara, J. Maybourn, C. Peirano, J. Tate, P. Brown, J. Hoey and B. Smith, "Drought and Associated Impacts in the Great Plains of the United States—A Review," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 6B, 2013, pp. 72-81. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.46A2009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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