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Palmer Drought Severity Index (PSDI) from LDEO/IRI Climate Data Library

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Abstract: The Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) is devised by
Palmer (1965) to represent the severity of dry and wet spells
over the U.S. based on monthly temperature and precipitation
data as well as the soil-water holding capacity at that
location. These data consist of the monthly PDSI over global
land areas from 1860-1995 derived using monthly surface air
temperature (from Hansen and Lebedeff, 1987 and updates)
and precipitation (from Dai et al., 1997) data. Soil-holding
capacity was fixed to climatological maps from
Webb et al. (1993). More details can be found in
Dai, et al. (1998).
Related URL
Description: Palmer Drought Severity Index data from NCAR
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Geographic Coverage
Spatial coordinates   
  N: 76.25   S: -58.75   E: 180.0   W: -180.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Palmer, W.C.
Dataset Title: Meteorological Drought
Dataset Series Name: DOC Res. Paper No.45
Dataset Release Date: 1965
Dataset Release Place: Washington, D.C.
Dataset Publisher: Department of Commerce
Online Resource:
Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1860-12-01
Stop Date: 1995-12-31
Data Resolution
Latitude Resolution: 2.5 deg
Longitude Resolution: 2.5 deg
Temporal Resolution: monthly
Access Constraints None
Use Constraints None
Ancillary Keywords
Data Set Progress
Originating Center
Data Center
Climate Data Library, International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University Supplemental Info
Data Center URL:

Data Center Personnel
Phone: (845) 680-4450
Fax: (845) 680-4864
Email: benno at
Contact Address:
Data Library Manager
International Research Institute for Climate Prediction
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Columbia University
City: Palisades
Province or State: NY
Postal Code: 10964-8000
Country: USA
Distribution Media: online WWW
Fees: None
Dai, A., I. Fung, and A. D. Del Genio, 1997: Surface observed
global land precipitation variations during 1900-1988.
J. Climate, 10, 2943-2962.
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Extended Metadata Properties
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2000-09-28
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-24