Across western North America (WNA), 20th-21st century anthropogenic warming has increased the prevalence and severity of concurrent drought and heat events, also termed hot droughts. However, the lack of independent spatial reconstructions of both soil moisture and temperature limits the potential to identify these events in the past and to place them in a long-term context.
Efforts to monitor the broad-scale impacts of drought on forests often come up short. Drought is a direct stressor of forests as well as a driver of secondary disturbance agents, making a full accounting of drought impacts challenging. General impacts can be inferred from moisture deficits quantified using precipitation and temperature measurements.