Reiterated and extreme weather events pose challenges for the agricultural sector. The convergence of remote sensing and supervised learning (SL) can generate solutions for the problems arising from climate change. SL methods build from a training set a function that maps a set of variables to an output. This function can be used to predict new examples. Because they are nonparametric, these methods can mine large quantities of satellite data to capture the relationship between climate variables and crops, or successfully replace autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models to forecast the weather. Agricultural indices (AIs) reflecting the soil water conditions that influence crop conditions are costly to monitor in terms of time and resources. So, under certain circumstances, meteorological indices can be used as substitutes for AIs. We discuss meteorological indexes and review SL approaches that are suitable for predicting drought based on historical satellite data. We also include some illustrative case studies. Finally, we will survey rainfall products existing at the web and some alternatives to process the data: from high-performance computing systems able to process terabyte-scale datasets to open source software enabling the use of personal computers.
Part of the book: Drought