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Regional Drought Update Date
August 27, 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.

Rainfall from Fred and Henri missed most of Cape Cod and northern and western Maine, while providing ample tropical rainfall for much of New York and New England.

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

Key Points

  • Severe drought (D2) persisted in western Maine and a small portion of neighboring northeast New Hampshire.
  • Severe drought (D2) was introduced to southeast Cape Cod.
  • Moderate drought (D1) and Abnormally Dry conditions (D0) persisted around these pockets of D2 and extended into northern Vermont and New Hampshire, and northeastern New York.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | August 24, 2021

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for August 24, 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 2.7% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 13.3% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 14.5% 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
2.7%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)
13.3%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
14.5%
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 August 26, 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 to much below normal.
7-day average streamflow conditions across the Northeast, as of August 26, 2021. Source: USGS Water Watch via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

7-Day Percent Precipitation

This 7-day percent precipitation map highlights how Cape Cod has missed out on tropical moisture.

7-day precipitation as a percent of normal for parts of New England. While much of the Northeast received well above normal precipitation, Cape Cod has had below normal precipitation.
7-day precipitation percent of normal, as of August 24, 2021. Source: National Weather Service.

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

Accumulated precipitation departures from normal from January through mid-August 2021 for four locations in the Northeast: Caribou Area, ME (blue), Rangeley 2 NW, ME (black), Burlington Area, VT (green), and Chatham Municipal Airport, MA (orange).
Year-to-date departure from normal precipitation for the Caribou Area, ME (blue), Rangeley 2 NW, ME (black), Burlington Area, VT (green), and Chatham Municipal Airport, MA (orange). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

Maine

Outlooks

  • The 8–14 day outlook indicates below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation for the region, except for northeastern Maine, where normal precipitation is favored.
  • The 3–4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures across almost all of the Northeast and equal precipitation chances for the region.

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 September 3–9, 2021.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from September 3–9, 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 September 3–9, 2021.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from September 3–9, 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 September 4–17, 2021.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from September 4–17, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

Climate Prediction Center week 3-4 precipitation outlook for the U.S., from September 4–17, 2021.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from September 4–17, 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.