Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Predicting East African spring droughts using Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperature indices

November 1, 2014

In southern Ethiopia, Eastern Kenya, and southern Somalia poor boreal spring rains in 1999, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 contributed to severe food insecurity and high levels of malnutrition. Predicting rainfall deficits in this region on seasonal and decadal time frames can help decision makers support disaster risk reduction while guiding climate-smart adaptation and agricultural development. Building on recent research that links more frequent droughts to a stronger Walker Circulation, warming in the Indo-Pacific warm pool, and an increased western Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) gradient, we explore the dominant modes of East African rainfall variability, links between these modes and sea surface temperatures, and a simple index-based monitoring-prediction system suitable for drought early warning.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Predicting East African spring droughts using Pacific and Indian Ocean sea surface temperature indices
DOI 10.5194/hessd-11-3111-2014
Authors Christopher C. Funk, Andrew Hoell, Shraddhanand Shukla, Ileana Blade, Brant Liebmann, Jason B. Roberts, Franklin R. Robertson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70155249
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

Related Content