Articles | Volume 20, issue 4
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1187-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-20-1187-2020
Research article
 | 
30 Apr 2020
Research article |  | 30 Apr 2020

Improving early warning of drought-driven food insecurity in southern Africa using operational hydrological monitoring and forecasting products

Shraddhanand Shukla, Kristi R. Arsenault, Abheera Hazra, Christa Peters-Lidard, Randal D. Koster, Frank Davenport, Tamuka Magadzire, Chris Funk, Sujay Kumar, Amy McNally, Augusto Getirana, Greg Husak, Ben Zaitchik, Jim Verdin, Faka Dieudonne Nsadisa, and Inbal Becker-Reshef

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Cited articles

Archer, E., Landman, W. A., Tadross, M. A., Malherbe, J., Weepener, H., Maluleke, P., and Marumbwa, F. M.: Understanding the evolution of the 2014–2016 summer rainfall seasons in southern Africa: Key lessons, Clim. Risk Manage., 16, 22–28, 2017. 
Arsenault, K., Shukla, S., Hazra, A., Getirana, A., McNally, A., Kumar, S., Koster, R., Zaitchik, B., Badr, H., Jung, H. C., Narapusetty, B., Navari, M., Wang, S., Mocko, S., Funk, C., Harrison, L., Husak, G., Verdin, J. V., and Peters-Lidard, C. C.: A NASA modeling and remote-sensing based hydrological forecast system for food and water security applications, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-18-0264.1, in press, 2020. 
Becker-Reshef, I., Justice, C., Sullivan, M., Vermote, E., Tucker, C., Anyamba, A., Small, J., Pak, E., Masuoka, E., Schmaltz, J., Hansen, M., Pittman, K., Birkett, C., Williams, D., Reynolds, C., and Doorn, B.: Monitoring Global Croplands with Coarse Resolution Earth Observations: The Global Agriculture Monitoring (GLAM) Project, Remote Sens., 2, 1589–1609, 2010. 
Becker-Reshef, I., Barker, B., Bonifacio, M., Budde, M., Constantino, A., Humber, M., Jarivs, I., Justice, C., Magadzire, T., Mwangi, K., Nakalembe, C., Newby, T., Pound, J., Shitote, C., Sobue, S., Verdin, J., and Whitcraft, A.: Strengthening agricultural decisions in countries at risk of food insecurity: The GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning, Remote Sens. Environ., 237, 111556, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2019.111553, 2020. 
Borovikov, A., Cullather, R., Kovach, R., Marshak, J., Vernieres, G., Vikhliaev, Y., Zhao, B., and Li, Z.: GEOS-5 seasonal forecast system, Clim. Dynam., 53, 7335–7361, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-017-3835-2, 2017. 
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Short summary
The region of southern Africa is prone to climate-driven food insecurity events, as demonstrated by the major drought event in 2015–2016. This study demonstrates that recently developed NASA Hydrological Forecasting and Analysis System-based root-zone soil moisture monitoring and forecasting products are well correlated with interannual regional crop yield, can identify below-normal crop yield events and provide skillful crop yield forecasts, and hence support early warning of food insecurity.
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