Droughts are used to reflect water shortages. A precise mathematical definition of droughts does not exist, and a drought is loosely worded as “a prolonged absence or marked deficiency of precipitation”. Numerous drought indices have been developed using different hydrologic variables. In this study, we - explore the potential of copulas in describing the joint water deficit over multiple stations in a region. - focus on precipitation data for stations within Indiana. Goal: To develop a joint water deficit index for multiple locations to enable regional quantification of droughts. Given the high dimensional nature of the data, we combine tree structured graphical models with copulas to design a new index for drought characterization.

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