Drought indices and indicators revisited
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There are numerous drought indicators used by decision makers all around the globe which have been developed to fulfill specific needs. By far, risks associated with drought and related consequences have become a bold topic for scientists in which debates still taking place everywhere. No global drought indices could provide universally accepted results since almost all of these indices are based on observed data as key performance indicators. In this respect, researchers spend a lot of effort on this issue for a better understanding on the various indices which are proposed until now. It is crucial to get a better sense on how drought can develop and how it can be monitored. It is also important to understand that, recent global challenges like climate change also amplifies the obligation on continues effort toward developing better indicators and methods to monitor droughts. As climate patterns change or a seasonal shift occurs, predefined drought indicators become useless. In this review, the concepts of drought indices and indicators are revisited and evaluated. Pros and cons of frequently used indices are addressed and the major differences between them are bolded. It is concluded that each index is applicable to fulfill expectations of a specific drought type while pre-knowledge about each case is very crucial. However, there is a need to develop a composite drought index to integrate all relevant data and drought definitions, with respect to the dominant types of monthly droughts in time and space together with climate change scenarios.