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NLDAS is one of the inputs to the new QuickDRI drought index

A new weekly drought monitoring system - QuickDRI - was recently made operational.  QuickDRI, or the Quick Drought Response Index, is led at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in coordination with USGS.  QuickDRI was designed to provide monitoring of rapidly-changing drought conditions. More about QuickDRI can be found in these stories from UNL and from USGS.  A QuickDRI fact sheet is also available.
QuickDRI monitoring pages, with a weekly archive going back to January 2000, are available from the USGS Drought Monitoring website and from the NDMC QuickDRI website.  Inputs to QuickDRI include the most-recent monthly indices of precipitation, general vegetation health, evapotranspiration, and root zone soil moisture.  The soil moisture used is from the NLDAS-2 VIC LSM.  The other drought resources page shows the individual four inputs to QuickDRI including NLDAS, along with other drought monitoring systems.
An example of the monthly soil moisture anomalies from the NLDAS-2 VIC LSM (one month ending on July 9th, 2017) is shown below.  It shows dry soil moisture conditions over much of the Dakotas.
QuickDRI was funded through a grant by NASA's Applied Sciences for Water Resources program and had additional support from the USGS Land Remote Sensing Program.
NLDAS is a collaboration project primarily supported by two groups: NOAA/NCEP’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) and NASA/GSFC.  Other groups that have contributed to NLDAS since its inception in 1999 include Princeton University, the University of Washington, the NOAA/NWS Office of Hydrological Development (OHD), and the NOAA/NCEP Climate Prediction Center (CPC).  NLDAS is a core project with support from the NOAA Climate Program Office's Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) program.  Data from the project can be accessed from the NASA Goddard Earth Science Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) as well as from the NCEP/EMC NLDAS website. Full documentation is available at GSFC's NLDAS website.