Skip to main content

Southeast Alaska Drought: Refining Drought Metrics for a Temperate Rainforest

Southeast Alaska has been experiencing abnormally dry conditions since late January 2018 according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Drought conditions have affected important ecosystem services such as hydroelectric power generation, drinking water availability, stream and fish habitat, and fish hatcheries.

What does drought look like in a temperate rainforest?

The Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop, held in Juneau, Alaska on May 7, 2019, brought together diverse participants to identify impacts of drought and to refine drought thresholds in temperate rainforest ecosystems where drought is a new concept. Information and resources were also shared to raise awareness about drought and to support adaptation to drought in these environments. Workshop outcomes that are underway include: refining drought metrics for Southeast Alaska; increasing drought impact reporting; sharing information on drought status; developing a synthesis of workshop information; and identifying community-driven next steps and needs. Over 70 people attended this workshop in-person or virtually. Presentations given at the workshop were recorded and are available below.

Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop Agenda  and  Flyer 

Drought in the Rainforest Primer        Changing Water Dynamics       CoCoRHaS        CoCoRHaS Training     PNW Drought Impacts Reporter
Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors       Sign up for Weather-ready nation ambassadors 

Post-workshop products *Updated January 2021*

Recordings of workshop presentations, presentation files (pdf) and links relevant to the presentation:  

Fran Houston Aak'w ~waan Tribal Spokesperson | Welcomes participants to the region (recording)

Holly Prendeville Coordinator USDA Northwest Climate Hub | Workshop welcome and USDA Climate Hubs (recording, presentation)

     USDA Northwest Climate Hub

Deb Bathke University of Nebraska-Lincoln National Drought Mitigation Center and Aaron Jacobs National Weather Service Juneau | US Drought Monitor (recording, presentation)

     National Drought Mitigation CenterAlaska     US Drought Monitor     US Drought Monitor - Alaska      Drought Impact Reporter  
     Map of drought impact reports     CoCoRHaS-Community Collaborative Rain Hail Snow Network

Genelle Winters Metlakata Indian Community| Metlakatla (recording*, presentation)  

     Metlakatla Indian Community

Aaron Jacobs National Weather Service-Juneau and Rick Thoman University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy NOAA RISA | Climate (recording*, presentation

     National Weather Service            National Weather Service-Juneau     National Weather Service Juneau office contacts

     Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors       Sign up for Weather-ready nation ambassadors     

     Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy NOAA RISA

Samia Savell Natural Resources Conservation Service | Farms, Private Forests, and Watersheds (recording*, presentation


Mike Janes Alaska Electric Light & Power | Snow, Avalanches from a power perspective (recording, presentation)

     Alaska Electric Light & Power

Christy Yearous Alaska Electric Light & Power | Hydroelectric power, reservoirs (recording, presentation)

     Alaska Electric Light & Power

Group Discussion Highlights 1 (recording)

Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop 7 May 2019
The Southeast Alaska Drought Workshop took place on 7 May, 2019.

Allison Bidlack University of Alaska Southeast and Southeast Coastal Rainforest Center | Streams, forest, coastal and marine systems (recording, presentation)

     University of Alaska Southeast 

     Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center     

     Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center

Liz Graham Forest Service State and Private | Forest health - insect impacts (recording, presentation)


     State and Private   Forest Health Protection -  Alaska

     2018 Forest Health Highlights StoryMap

     Forest Health Conditions in Alaska Reports & Aerial Detection Survey Damage Maps (2002-2017)

Dave D’Amore Forest Service Research & Development Pacific Northwest Research Station | Soils (recording, presentation)

     Research & Development       Pacific Northwest Research Station

Ryan Bellmore Research & Development Pacific Northwest Research Station | Streams and fish (recording, presentation)

     Research & Development       Pacific Northwest Research Station     Southeast Alaska Salmon Simulator

Mark Cahur Forest Service National Forest System | Southeast Alaska fire risk & fire wise information (recording, presentation)

     National Forest System     Alaska-Region 10     Fire & Aviation

Group Discussion Highlights 2 (recording)

Aaron Jacobs National Weather Service-Juneau | MesoWest (recording, presentation)


Daniel Fisher USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) | SNOTEL (recording, presentation)

     USDA NRCS   NRCS-Alaska     Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) and Snow Course Data and Products

Anna Costa University of Alaska Fairbanks- Alaska Climate Research Center | Alaska Climate Research Center & CoCoRHaS –Community Rain Hail Snow Network (recording, presentation)

     University of Alaska Fairbanks      Alaska Climate Research Center     CoCoRHaS

Rick Thoman University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy NOAA RISA | Viewing historical climate data (recording, presentation)

     University of Alaska Fairbanks     Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP)     ACIS=Applied Climate Information System

Jeremy Littell Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center | Climate models and data limitations (recording, presentation)

     United States Geological Survey (USGS)     Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center     Scenarios Network for Alaska + Arctic Planning (SNAP)

     Precipitation change in the United States. In: Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume I

Acknowledgements and closing statements (recording)


This workshop benefited from the support, assistance and feedback from a variety of organizations including the USDA Chief Economists Office's Climate Change Program Office, National Drought Mitigation Center, National Weather Service Juneau, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information - Center for Weather and Climate, Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center, and the Forest Service.

*re-recorded presentation due to technical difficulties during the workshop 

Sign up here to receive emails on drought in Southeast Alaska.