Online Drought Indicators and Indices

Vegetation Health Index (VHI)


Index name: Vegetation Health Index (VHI).

Ease of use: Green.

Origins: The result of work done by Kogan with NOAA in the United States.

Characteristics: One of the first attempts to monitor and identify drought-related agricultural impacts using remotely sensed data. AVHRR data in the visible, infrared and near-infrared channels are all used to identify and classify stress to vegetation due to drought.

Input parameters: AVHRR satellite data.

Applications: Used to identify and monitor droughts affecting agriculture around the world.

Strengths: Coverage over the entire globe at a high resolution.

Weaknesses: The period of record for satellite data is short.

Resources: The calculations and sample case studies are given in the literature. VHI maps can be found online at NOAA STAR – Global Vegetation Health Products webpage.

Kogan, F.N., 1990: Remote sensing of weather impacts on vegetation in non-homogeneous areas. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 11: 1405–1419. DOI: 10.1080/01431169008955102. (For more information on this paper, please contact the IDMP HelpDesk).

Kogan, F.N., 1997: Global drought watch from space. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78: 621–636. DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078<0621:GDWFS>2.0.CO;2.

Kogan, F.N., 2001: Operational space technology for global vegetation assessments. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 82(9): 1949–1964. DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477(2001)082<1949:OSTFGV>2.3.CO;2.

Currently used by: Iran.

  1. […] following time-series animation shows Vegetation Health Index (VHI) maps  of the Philippines from February 2000–May 2017. This was computed using two indices that […]

  2. Brian Kimathi
    April 15, 2019 Reply

    Does an API for a system like this exist?

    1. Katrin Ehlert
      April 30, 2019 Reply

      Dear Brian Kimathi

      Thank you for your question. Here is a link to the NOAA STAR web page that has vegetation health indices:

      Kind regards
      IDMP Team

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