NASA Harvest partner Amy McNally’s work about potentially hazardous drought conditions in critical agricultural areas has been highlighted on NASA's Earth Observatory site. The article Record Low Snowpack in Afghanistan describes how recent Afghanistan maps of “snow water equivalent” show a reversal from abundant snow conditions in early 2017, with the lowest detected snowpack since 2001. Snowmelt is a critical source of water for crops and irrigation.
Dr. McNally produces the snow estimates for the Land Information System at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She noted that although significant snow events are still possible this year, "We’re now midway into March and temperatures are rising, so it is unlikely. At this point, rain may provide some water for the early part of the growing season, but we’d still be concerned about later in the season, given that we don’t have the water stored in the snow pack.” Groups such as the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor teams monitor these conditions and their impact on agricultural crops for the season.
Dr. McNally's contributions to Harvest include globalization of her currently regionalized FEWS NET hydrologic dataset products for integration into broader decision support systems (e.g. Crop Monitor for Early Warning).