On Special Assignment

May 6, 2013 3:14 PM by Russ Thomas - StormTracker Weather Center

UM scientist helps develop new drought monitoring tool

MISSOULA - Montana has a history of long dry spells, with drought conditions often lasting for years.

But, the lack of weather stations around the state, relative to its size, has made it hard to pinpoint areas under the most severe drought conditions.

A team of scientists, including University of Montana Professor Dr. Steven Running have developed the Drought Severity Index, which uses NASA satellite imagery to better localize drought conditions.

"This satellite estimate of drought conditions is extremely valuable, so we've already done a couple of projects with countries that see this as the best information they can get, and now we're bringing it home to Montana," Dr. Running explained.

Meteorologist Russ Thomas goes on Special Assignment to take a closer look at the Drought Severity Index, and the impact it is expected to make on helping those most in need when drought sets in during Monday's 10:00 News on the Montana Television Network.

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