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.
Post-workshop products *Updated January 2021*
- Are we living in the future? The climate extremes of recent and future Southeast Alaska droughts and floods. Check out this webinar hosted by AACAP in January 2021. It provides climate review of extreme precipitation events and future climate projections for temperature and precipitation for Southeast as well as a presentation on considering risk and planning for future changes in climate.
- The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) has a new website, which includes drought impacts that are specific to Southeast Alaska based information gathered at the workshop.
- Drought metrics for Alaska have been updated! Feedback from the workshop informed National Drought Mitigation Center monitoring metrics to include sectors like forestry and community hydropower.
- What does drought look like in Southeast Alaska?
- Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society article: Defining Drought in a Temperate Rainforest
- Refined Drought Metrics for Southeast Alaska (see table at bottom of this webpage)
- Request for information and data to answer questions to help refine drought metrics for southeast Alaska
- 6 September 2019 Webinar recording: Did Southeast Alaska drought conditions improve or worsen during the summer of 2019 and what will autumn/winter bring? This talk provides a climate and drought perspective of summer 2019 across Southeast Alaska, climate outlook for potential of future precipitation, review of impacts recorded throughout the summer along with a progress report on follow-up work from the Southeast Alaska Drought workshop.
- Historic Drought in a Rainforest: Southeast Alaska (2017-2019), a StoryMap from NOAA National Weather Service - Juneau, Alaska that reviews the 2017-2019 drought.
- Southeast Drought Workshop – White paper (in development)
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)
National Drought Mitigation Center - Alaska US Drought Monitor US Drought Monitor - Alaska Drought Impact Reporter
Map of drought impact reports CoCoRHaS-Community Collaborative Rain Hail Snow Network
Group Discussion Highlights 1 (recording)
Group Discussion Highlights 2 (recording)
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