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Drought In South Asia: A Review Of Drought Assessment And Prediction In South Asian Countries

Sewwandhi S.K. Chandrasekara, Hyun-Han Kwon, Meththika Vithanage, Jayantha Obeysekera, Tae-Woong Kim

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South Asian countries have been experiencing frequent drought incidents recently, and due to this reason, many scientific studies have been carried out to explore drought in South Asia. In this context, we review scientific studies related to drought in South Asia. The study initially identifies the importance of drought-related studies and discusses drought types for South Asian regions. The representative examples of drought events, severity, frequency, and duration in South Asian countries are identified. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was mostly adopted in South Asian countries to quantify and monitor droughts. Nevertheless, the absence of drought quantification studies in Bhutan and the Maldives is of great concern. Future studies to generate a combined drought severity map for the South Asian region are required. Moreover, the drought prediction and projection in the regions is rarely studied. Furthermore, the teleconnection between drought and large-scale atmospheric circulations in the South Asia has not been discussed in detail in most of the scientific literature. Therefore, as a take-home message, there is an urgent need for scientific studies related to drought quantification for some regions in South Asia, prediction and projection of drought for an individual country (or as a region), and drought teleconnection to atmospheric circulation.