On 14 and 16 November 2022, workshops on drought and agriculture in Alaska occurred in Delta Junction and Palmer. Both workshops focused on precipitation and temperature as it relates to agriculture; drought indicators and monitoring; and drought scenarios and peer-to-peer learning for producers and home gardeners. These workshops were co-hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks Extension, National Drought Mitigation Center, and United States Department of Agriculture Northwest Climate Hub.
Introduction to the Palmer workshop by Jodie Anderson, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Holly Prendeville, USDA Northwest Climate Hub (video)
2022 Climate Overview
- Rick Thoman, University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, presented a climate overview to the Delta Junction workshop (video; click to download the presentation)
- Brian Brettschneider, NOAA NWS Alaska Region, presented to Palmer (video; click to download the presentation)
Farm Service Agency: Disaster Designations
- Robert Garcia, Farm Service Agency, presented to Delta Junction workshop
- Shelby Johnson, Farm Service Agency, presented to Palmer (video; click to download the presentation)
For the lower 48 states the US Drought Monitor uses over 100 climate variables to assess drought, whereas in Alaska fewer metrics are available (see list below).
- Standardized precipitation index(SPI, at different time scales: 30, 60, 90, 120-days and 9, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60-months, calendar year, water year)
- Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) 4-week 4km and ESI 12-week 4km
- Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) Precipitation at different time scales 1, 7, 14, 30, 60, 90, 180, 365-days, month to date, year to date, water year (starts 1 Oct) to date)
- US Geological Survey streamflow percentiles (1, 7, 14, 28-day)
- Collaborative Rain Hail Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) observations and condition reports
- USGS well data
- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) SNOTEL snow water equivalent (SWE, current, 1, 3 , 7-day change)
- Radar beam
- Soil moisture data modelled from NASA
- Condition Monitoring Observer Reports is a website or mobile phone application for submitting your observations of conditions, whether they are wet, dry, or normal conditions. You can include photos and provide information on a variety of topics (agriculture, forests, communities, etc.). Submit a report here and note this site can take some time to load. Also you can view a map of reported conditions.
Historical drought data and conditions is a tool for exploring historical drought conditions from 2000 to the present via a graph or map of the state. One can also click on a census area to see area drought conditions.
- Farm Service Agency Livestock Forage Disaster Program eligibility tool from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
- Managing drought risk on the ranch, a planning guide for great plains ranchers.
- Drought early warning for specialty crop producers, a project summary page on decision making needs of specialty crop producers in the Midwest.
- Overview of Weather Water Land Sites is an online tool that shows locations of weather and water monitoring stations in the western US, including Alaska. One can also view reference data like radar beam coverage, Risk Management Agency indemnities for weather-related claims, and other information under “references.”
CoCoRHaS, Community Rain Hail and Snow Network, is a national non-profit community-based network focused on precipitation measurements. If you are interested in participating in CoCoRHaS by submitting precipitation observations, review the following resources to begin:
Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy is a NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments program focused on conducting climate research in Alaska.
Webinars, including a monthly climate outlook for the state by Rick Thoman.
NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information: Alaska State Climate Summaries 2022 is a yearly summary of climate in the state.
PRISM climate group’s Alaska average monthly and annual precipitation and minimum, maximum, and mean temperature for 1981-2010 are the most up to date climate data from PRISM for Alaska.
Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Changes in Climate in Alaska, is a guide that includes a soils handbook in addition to a number of other resources.
- Demonstrations of adaptation in action throughout Northwest Climate Hub region (ID, OR, WA, AK).
- Alaska Garden Helper, developed by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, shows projected changes in growing season, annual minimum temperatures, and growing degree days, along with plant hardiness zone maps for future time periods.
- Agriculture in Alaska, a summary of agriculture and a list of climate change effects on agriculture in the state.
Disaster assistance programs provides a summary of available programs from FSA.
- Disaster assistance discovery tool is a tool that helps to identify potential programs available to users who provide a few responses about their operation and disaster experience.
- Disaster assistance programs at a glance is a brochure providing program highlights.
- Disaster designation information tells you if disasters have been declared by county.
- Emergency disaster designation and declaration process and the regulation governing disaster designations is at 7 CFR Part 759.
Agent locator (Note: none are in Alaska so reset default distance to “no limit”.)
- Whole Farm Revenue Protection Programis a farm insurance policy for all commodities up to $17 million in insured revenue.
- Micro Farm Program is a farm insurance policy for all commodities on your farm up to $350,000 in approved revenue.
Disaster recovery page lists NRCS programs to assist farmers, ranchers, and landowners after a disaster.