The Hydro-Illogical Cycle

“We welcome the first clear day after a rainy spell. Rainless days continue for a time and we are pleased to have a long spell of such fine weather. It keeps on and we are a little worried. A few days more and we are really in trouble. The first rainless day in a spell of fine weather contributes as much to the drought as the last, but no one knows how serious it will be until the last dry day is gone and the rains have come again.”

(from I.R. Tannehill, Drought: Its Causes and Effects, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1947)


Unlike other natural disasters, drought does not have a clearly defined beginning and end. As a result, our reaction to drought traditionally has not been timely.

©2006 National Drought Mitigation Center

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