- NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) and USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab (HRSL)
The Evaporative Stress Index (ESI) is an indicator of anomalous evapotranspiration (ET) conditions that can be used for drought monitoring. ESI describes temporal anomalies in the ratio of actual-to-potential ET (ETf), highlighting areas with anomalously high or low rates of ET across the land surface. Actual ET is estimated using the satellite-based ET model Atmosphere-Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI), where ET is estimated via a land-surface energy balance using remotely sensed land-surface temperature (LST) (Anderson et al. 1997; 2007a,b; 2011). LST is a fast response variable, providing proxy information on rapidly evolving surface soil moisture and crop stress conditions. ESI has proven useful for detecting “flash drought”, brought on by periods of hot, dry and windy conditions leading to rapid soil moisture depletion.
4 week ESI: 4 week timescale
12 week ESI: 12 week timescale
Period of Record
Anderson, M. C., J. M. Norman, J. R. Mecikalski, J. P. Otkin, and W. P. Kustas, 2007a: A climatological study of evapotranspiration and moisture stress across the continental U.S. based on thermal remote sensing: I. Model formulation. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D10117, doi:10110.11029/12006JD007506.
Anderson, M. C., J. M. Norman, J. R. Mecikalski, J. P. Otkin, and W. P. Kustas, 2007b: A climatological study of evapotranspiration and moisture stress across the continental U.S. based on thermal remote sensing: II. Surface moisture climatology. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D11112, doi:11110.11029/12006JD007507.
Anderson, M. C., C. R. Hain, B. Wardlow, J. R. Mecikalski, and W. P. Kustas (2011), Evaluation of a drought index based on thermal remote sensing of evapotranspiration over the continental U.S., J. Climate, 24, 2025-2044.
Otkin, J. A., Anderson, M. C., Hain, C., Mladenova, I. E., Basara, J. B., & Svoboda, M. (2013). Examining rapid onset drought development using the thermal infrared–based evaporative stress index. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 14(4), 1057-1074.
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