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Global Drought Hazard Frequency and Distribution

The Global Drought Hazard Frequency and Distribution is a 2.5 minute grid based upon the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction's (IRI) Weighted Anomaly of Standardized Precipitation (WASP). Utilizing average monthly precipitation data from 1980 through 2000 at a resolution of 2.5 degrees, WASP assesses the precipitation deficit or surplus over a three month temporal window that is weighted by the magnitude of the seasonal cyclic variation in precipitation. The three months' averages are derived from the precipitation data and the median rainfall for the 21 year period is calculated for each grid cell. Grid cells where the three month running average of precipitation is less than 1 mm per day ae excluded. Drought events are identified when the magnitude of a monthly precipitation deficit is less than or equal to 50 percent of its longterm median value for three or more consecutive months. Grid cells are then divided into 10 classes having an approximately equal number of grid cells. Higher grid cell values denote higher frequencies of drought occurrences. This data set is the result of collaboration among the Columbia University Center for Hazards and Risk Research (CHRR), Columbia University International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI), and Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN).

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