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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Research Project #434950

Research Project: Evaluation of Frost and Drought Events in the U.S. Southern Great Plains from 1981 to 2040

Location: Forage and Livestock Production Research

Project Number: 3070-21610-002-13-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2018
End Date: Jul 31, 2020

Objective:
Investigating changes of frost dates and drought events observed and projected from 1981 to 2040 in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) including Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Approach:
Over large parts of U.S. Great Plains surface temperature has been increasing during last 100 years. Particularly minimum temperatures (thus frost dates) show a more pronounced increase than maximum temperatures and drought events has resulted in billions of dollars in agricultural losses in late 1980s and 2011-2012. In this project, both advanced statistical analysis and dynamic downscaling climate modeling are used to construct a historical dataset and a projected climate dataset from 1981 to 2040. The historical climate data (observed) will be area-weighted averaged into a crop-report-district (CRD) level after data homogeneity test passed and data quality assured. The projected climate data will be modeled by Weather Research & Forecasting Models (WRF) downscaling (16 km × 16 km grids). All data sets including surface precipitation, maximum temperature, and minimum temperature are integrated on a daily basis at a CRD level. Changes of drought index (SPEI and PDSI) and frost dates (both spring and fall frost) will be delivered from 1981 to 2040.