[Visited Jun’14] In 1994, the Army Corps of Engineers issued The National Drought Atlas, which is cataloged in only five libraries; it apparently never made it into the Federal Depository Library Program. A new online resource, the national Drought Risk Atlas, rectifies that oversight. The atlas has six sections: Home, Map Viewer, Data (viewer page), Methodology, About, and Help. Home provides introductory information about the atlas and explains the other sections. Map Viewer allows users to view drought status from 2000 to the present. The Data section allows users to select stations by name or interactively on a map and view data for that station over time. Many stations contain more than 100 years of data. Data can be displayed as a time series chart or table for a given decade. In addition, users can display data for each decade ranked from driest to wettest and warmest to coolest temperatures, along with ranked monthly precipitation and temperature records. The system also allows data retrieval for various indexes, including the Standardized Precipitation Index, Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index, Palmer Drought Severity Index, and Self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index.
There is a separate tabbed section for each index, which includes a description of the index and the option to select the period of interest. Data can be displayed as a time series chart, table, ranked table, or heat map plot, which shows whether a selected station was particularly wet or dry during the decade by color. Users can also download data for additional research. The Help section provides information on using the site. Many years ago, this type of weather data for selected locations was available in books published by Gale Research. This valuable site provides temperature and precipitation data and more for free. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All library collections.”
- Copyright 2014 American Library Association, Choice Sept. 2014, Vol. 52(1) Review # 52-0288