- As per a recent study, flash droughts occurred more often than conventional ‘slow’ droughts in tropical places like India, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon basin.
More about Study
- Flash droughts are fast becoming the ‘new normal’ making forecasting and preparing for their impact more difficult.
- Climate change has effectively speed up the onset of droughts.
- Reason: when the precipitation suddenly shuts off, hot, sunny and windy conditions can cause large amounts of water to evaporate quickly(i.e., high evapotranspiration)
- The trends varied from place to place, but, looked at globally, they show a shift toward more frequent and more rapid flash droughts.
- A considerably long dry spell with significantly low precipitation anomalies during the monsoon results in an increase in air temperature. Increased air temperature and precipitation deficit together cause a rapid depletion of soil moisture leading to flash drought.
- There is little known about flash droughts or ‘hidden hazards’ when compared to research available on long-term droughts.
- Flash droughts can occur in the monsoon season as well, primarily caused by the monsoon breaks and these can also occur due to delayed onset of the summer.
- Normally, developing drought conditions take months, but flash droughts could occur in weeks and stay on for months.
- Atmospheric anomalies (variations), anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing climate change.
- Early-warning systems (EWS), that could identify trends in climate and sources of water, are used to detect the emergence or probability of the occurrence of flash droughts.
- Drought monitoring through use of remote sensing data and various indices for drought monitoring as well as through on-line help facilities.
Drought Prone Areas
Map of drought prone districts of India
Drought Management in India