The Instituto Agronomico de Campinas (IAC) of the Agriculture and Supply Department began an Operational Advisory System in 1988 to aid agricultural activities. The counseling and agrometeorological analyses are conducted by the CIIAGRO (Brunini et al., 1996). This system, a network of 128 weather stations across the state of Sao Paulo, is an operational framework that provides agrometeorological information to farmers and extension services in regard to soil type, crop development, agricultural practices, pest management, irrigation requirements, climatic risks (frost, drought, dry spell), water balance, crop yield, and weather forecast. In short, the information disseminated by the system can be used by the agribusiness community for decision making about agricultural practices, food production and civil defense, and drought preparedness and mitigation (Brunini et al., 1998). Using daily temperature and precipitation data twice a week from the weather stations, the system executes a water-balancing approach (Thornthwaite and Mather, 1955), as well as the relationships between the ratio AE/PET and available soil water. Weekly maps describing drought conditions, dry spells, crop development and climate anomalies are issued. More details can be obtained from the CIIAGRO's Web site (http://ciiagro.iac.br). Figure 12.6 is a sample of the product used for monitoring droughts using some of the drought indices for the state of Sao Paulo; figure 12.6a shows drought conditions for one month period using SPI (SPI-1), whereas figure 12.6b indicates drought conditions based on the weekly CDI.
Figure 12.6 Monitoring drought conditions for the state of Sao Paulo (a) for March 2001 using a monthly standardized precipitation index (SPI-1) and (b) for March 2002 using the crop drought index.
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