Erin Coughlan de Perez, Daniel Maxwell, and colleagues publish in Earth’s Future

Scientists with the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), including Erin Coughlan de Perez and Daniel Maxwell, have developed new advances in the predictability of East African rains that will allow for earlier, more accurate warnings of extreme drought.

In a paper published in Earth’s Future, scientists describe how climate change is interacting with La Niña to produce extreme, yet extremely predictable, variations in sea surface temperatures, making it possible to predict droughts eight months ahead of time.

Chris Funk and co-authors used sea surface temperature gradients to accurately predict numerous droughts and floods since 2016. Most notably, FEWS NET scientists used these predictive capabilities to forecast a record-breaking five consecutive seasons of drought in the eastern Horn of Africa. These warnings helped motivate USAID’s humanitarian response of more than $1.8 billion in the region.

Read the full paper at Earth’s Future.