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How many weather data are essential for calculating of the PDSI (Palmer Drought Severity Index)?

The PDSI, based on the Palmer Drought Model (Palmer, 1965), has been one of the most commonly used drought indicators in the United States. The calculations of this index are complicated, and it needs some settings. The PDSI is calculated based on precipitation and temperature data, as well as the local Available Water Content (AWC) of the soil. From the inputs, all the basic terms of the water balance equation can be determined, including evapotranspiration, soil recharge, and moisture loss from the surface layer. Human impacts on the water balance, such as irrigation, are not considered. Complete descriptions of the equations can be found in the original study by Palmer (1965). In the DMAP (Drought Monitoring And Prediction) software, the user can easily calculate PDSI, the severity and duration of drought events and also plot different graphs in different time scale.

Palmer WC, 1965. Meteorological drought: US Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau Washington, DC, USA. 45, 58.

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