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Regional Drought Update Date
April 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.

Northeastern drought springs back into the headlines.

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

Key Points

  • Moderate Drought (D1) covered sizable portions of western and northern New York as well as a small portion of central New York.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) covered nearly all of Vermont, most of southern New Hampshire and dipped into north-central Massachusetts.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions dominated most of the rest of the Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS).
  • Precipitation (snow and rain) at the end of this week may take the edge off but will not ameliorate the hydrological drought in the region.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | April 13, 2021

Current U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) with data valid for April 13, 2021. The USDM is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Drought categories show experts’ assessments of conditions related to dryness and drought including observations of how much water is available in streams, lakes, and soils compared to usual for the same time of year.

According to the latest USDM:

  • Moderate Drought (D1) conditions exist in 23.5% of the region.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions exist in 53.5% of the region.

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
D2
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4
Main Stats
23.5%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Moderate Drought (D1)
53.5%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions

7-Day Average Streamflows

Streamflows are below average for most of the Northeast, except for northeastern Maine.

7-day streamflow conditions across the Northeast through April 16, 2021. Streamflows are below normal or much below normal for most of the Northeast, except northeastern Maine.
7-day average streamflow conditions across the Northeast. Source: USGS Water Watch via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

Much of the Northeast has been experiencing a downward trend of precipitation departure since the beginning of 2021.

Graph showing year to date departure from normal precipitation for the Buffalo, NY area, Providence, RI area, and Concord, NH area. All 3 regions have experienced a downward trend of precipitation departure since the beginning of 2021.
Year to date departure from normal precipitation for the Concord Area, NH (blue), Providence Area, RI (black), and Buffalo Area, NY (green). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

New York

Drought expands in upstate New York, and it’s likely to get worse.

NIDIS and National Weather Service Launch Interactive Map With Drought Information Statements

National Weather Service drought information statements provide up-to-date reports on the current drought situation for a Weather Forecast Office’s (WFO's) county warning and forecast area. These statements summarize recent weather and hydrologic conditions, discuss local drought impacts, and provide a local drought outlook. This new interactive map allows users to explore all active drought information statements published within the last 35 days, overlaid on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Please see the Norton, MA (BOX) statement, which was issued on April 13, 2021.

Map of active National Weather Service drought information statements across the U.S., on top of the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Outlooks

  • The 8-14 day maps indicate below-normal temperatures for New York and Vermont, most of New Hampshire and Connecticut, and western Massachusetts. Normal temperatures are predicted for eastern Massachusetts and all of Rhode Island and Maine. Above-normal precipitation is predicted for the Northeast, except for northern Maine, where normal precipitation is predicted.
  • The 3-4 week outlook favors equal chances for above- or below-normal temperatures and precipitation.

Temperature Outlook 8-14 Day

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook, valid for April 23 to April 29, 2021. Odds favor below-normal temperatures across New York, Vermont, and eastern parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from April 23 to 29, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook 8-14 Day

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook, valid for April 23 to April 29, 2021. Odds favor above-normal precipitation across most of the Northeast, except northern Maine.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from April 23-29, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Temperature Outlook Week 3-4

Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week temperature outlook, valid for April 24 - May 7, 2021. Odds favor equal chances of above-, below-, or near-normal temperatures across the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from April 24-May 7, 2021. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3-4

tbd
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 3-4 week precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from April 24-May 7, 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 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.