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Drought forecasting systems use models fed by climatic and atmospheric data (historical/seasonal weather patterns, real-time meteorological monitoring, and weather forecasts) to predict the probability of a drought occurring in a region or area of interest in the future (up to approximately three months). Drought forecasting systems are an important part of early warning systems, as they provide lead-time to planners for threat responses, which helps minimize drought impact risk. Drought forecasting has great impact on agricultural activity and water availability, and is therefore particularly important for ensuring food and water security. Effective forecasting systems can give enough lead time to adequately plan for water storage, identify alternative sources of freshwater, implement new (water-saving) agricultural practices, and import food and water, if necessary.