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Regional Drought Update Date
July 16, 2021
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Early Warning Update for the Northeast


DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

NIDIS and its partners will issue future drought early warning updates as conditions evolve.

 

Coastal parts of northern New England saw relief from Elsa—but not interior locations or Cape Cod

For more details, see the Northeast Drought Early Warning System Dashboard.

Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) persisted in parts of Maine and New Hampshire.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) held on in northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, much of western Maine, and Cape Cod.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions—strongly indicated by a lack of groundwater recharge—will be watched closely in all of northern New England, parts of New York, and Cape Cod.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | July 13, 2021

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for July 13, 2021. The U.S. Drought Monitor is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. 

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor:

  • Severe drought (D2) exists in 2.6% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 20.3% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 29.1% of the region.

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0 - Abnormally Dry
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1 - Moderate Drought
The color with the hex code #f5ad3d identifies:
D2 - Severe Drought
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3 - Extreme Drought
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4 - Exceptional Drought
Main Stats
2.6%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)
20.3%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
29.1%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)

Current Conditions

7-Day Average Streamflows

Streamflows are high or much above average across much of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and southern parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. Parts of northern New Hampshire and Vermont, and parts of Maine, are seeing below-normal or much-below-normal streamflows.

7-day average streamflow conditions for the Northeast U.S. as of July 15, 2021. Streamflows are normal to much above normal across most of the region, but parts of northern New Hampshire and Vermont and parts of Maine are below normal.
7-day average streamflow conditions across the Northeast, as of July 15, 2021. Source: USGS Water Watch via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

Accumulated precipitation departures from normal from January to mid-July 2021 for four locations in the Northeast: Portland, ME; Concord, NH; Burlington, VT; and Buffalo, NY.
Year-to-date departure from normal precipitation for the Portland Area, ME (blue), Concord Area, NH (black), Burlington Area, VT (green), and Buffalo Area, BY (orange). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

Maine

Massachusetts

 New Hampshire

  • Recent rains provided 3–6 inches in much of the southern half of the state, but much less in the north, where the rain was most needed. As a result, drought and abnormally dry conditions have receded north.
  • At the end of June, groundwater level monitoring indicated that most wells in the network were below average and had dropped since the end of May. Due to the growing season and warm summer temperatures, most rain received goes to plants and evaporation or runoff. Significant groundwater recharge will not occur until the fall. 
  • Streamflows have recovered in the majority of the state, except for the north.
  • The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is urging systems to maintain outdoor water use restrictions. Implementing mandatory restrictions is prudent in areas experiencing moderate drought, particularly in areas which experience a significant increase in outdoor water use in the summer. Those areas experiencing abnormally dry conditions should be messaging water conservation to residents and customers, as well as be implementing restrictions based on availability of supplies and increases in demand.
  • Currently 86 water systems have restrictions in place.
  • Elsa soaks New Hampshire, but like Maine, more rain is needed.

Sign Up for U.S. Drought Monitor Alerts

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Outlooks

  • The 8–14 day outlook indicates normal temperatures for the region except for western New York, where above-normal temperatures are favored. Below-normal precipitation is favored for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Vermont, and central and southern New York. Normal precipitation is favored for the rest of the region.
  • The 3–4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures across almost all of the Northeast and equal precipitation chances for the region, except for western New York, where above-normal precipitation is favored.

Temperature Outlook 8–14 Day

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above, below, or near normal conditions from July 22–28, 2021. Except for far-western NY, odds favor near normal temperatures for the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 22–28, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Precipitation Outlook 8–14 Day

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above, below, or near normal conditions from July 22–28, 2021. Odds favor below-normal precipitation for CT, MA, RI, southern N and VT, and central and southern NY.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 22–28, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

Climate Prediction Center week 3-4 temperature outlook for the U.S., from July 24 to August 6, 2021. Odds favor above-normal temperatures throughout most of the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 24–August 6, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

Climate Prediction Center week 3-4 precipitation outlook for the U.S., from July 24 to August 6, 2021. Odds favor above-normal precipitation for wester New York, with equal chances of above, below, and near normal conditions in the rest of the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 24–August 6, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Additional Resources

Contacts for More Information

Sylvia Reeves
Regional Drought Information Coordinator (Northeast DEWS)
NOAA/CIRES/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
Email: sylvia.reeves@noaa.gov

Ellen L. Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region
NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information
Email: Ellen.L.Mecray@noaa.gov

Prepared By

Sylvia Reeves
NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Samantha Borisoff, Jessica Spaccio, Keith Eggleston, Art DeGaetano
Northeast Regional Climate Center

Ellen Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, NOAA

David Hollinger and Maria Janowiak
USDA Climate Hubs

Gardner Bent
USGS/New England Water Science Center

In partnership with National Weather Service Offices of the Northeast and State Climate Offices of the Northeast. 

Special Thanks

This drought early warning update is issued in partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to communicate concern for drought expansion and intensification within the Northeast U.S. based on recent conditions and the forecasts and outlooks. NIDIS and its partners will issue future Drought Early Warning Updates as conditions evolve.