Here’s an interesting story about how the Drought Monitor is made from KQED out west. It describes the combination of quantitative factors along with the art that makes the map come together. However, unlike the headline above, I know of a few examples where politics has also come into play, although for the most part the authors do a good job of trying to keep politics to a minimum. That leads to some interesting differences between what state governments say are the conditions and what the DM designates as drought, as I’ve discussed in earlier blog posts. You can read the story at https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2017/03/10/color-me-dry-drought-maps-blend-art-and-science-but-no-politics/.