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Regional Drought Update Date
October 7, 2021
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Early Warning Update for the Northeast


DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

Monitoring continues, but this will be the last regional drought update for 2021 unless conditions change significantly.

Drought Conditions Improve in Northern New York and New England with the Hopes That Winter Snows Can Replenish Aquifers.

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

Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) held fast in northern Maine.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions surrounded the area of D2 in northern Maine, and held fast in portions of northern Vermont and New Hampshire. 
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions remained for a few counties in northern New York along the St. Lawrence River.
  • With recent rains, conditions improved on Cape Cod.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | October 5, 2021

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for October 5. 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 1.4% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 3.9% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 12.2% 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
1.4%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)
3.9%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
12.2%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)

Current Conditions

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

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

State-Reported Impacts

Rhode Island

Previous Drought Shutters RI Christmas Tree Farm For 2021 Season, Narragansett-South Kingstown, RI Patch

September 23, Rhode Island. Too many consecutive dry summers slowed tree growth, leading a Christmas tree farm to close for the 2021 holiday season. The 2021 summer brought plenty of rain, but 2019 and 2020 were dry. The farm does not have enough mature trees to cut and sell this year.

Maine

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon said, "Agricultural conditions are reasonably good as we approach the end of the growing season. Potato harvest looks good for quality and quantity, with no major water use conflicts noted. Other crops are looking good, with the diminishing drought reducing the irrigation workload on producers."

DACF Maine Forest Service Regional Forest Ranger Matt Gomes said, “As we move into fall, it is important to understand that fires, and sometimes large damaging fires, are still a threat. Fall brings leaf litter, reopened canopies for solar heating, drier fuels through lower relative humidity, as well as higher winds.”

Read research updates on Northeast U.S. warming.

Outlooks

  • The 8–14 day outlook indicates above-normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the region.
  • The 3–4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures 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 October 14–2-, 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 October 14–20, 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 October 14-20, 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 October 14–20, 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 October 16-29, 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 October 16–29, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

Climate Prediction Center week 3-4 precipitation outlook for the U.S., from October 16-29 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 October 16–29, 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), CIRES

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.