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Regional Drought Update Date
January 14, 2022
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Status Update for the Northeast


DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

Monitoring continues. The next regional update is scheduled for mid-February.

Monitoring Snowfall and Snow Water Equivalent for Potential to Increase Spring Groundwater Levels.

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

Key Points

  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions stretched from northern Vermont to northern Maine.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) remained in northern New Hampshire and Maine.
  • Severe Drought (D2) persisted only in northwest Maine.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | January 11, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for January 11, 2022. 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 1.51% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 2.11% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 7.35% of the region.
U.S. Drought Monitor Categories
Value Map Hex Color
D0 - Abnormally Dry #ffff00
D1 - Moderate Drought #ffcc99
D2 - Severe Drought #f5ad3d
D3 - Extreme Drought #ff0000
D4 - Exceptional Drought #660000
Main Stats
1.5%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)
2.1%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
7.4%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)

Current Conditions

Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal

Accumulated precipitation departures from normal from January 2021 through mid-January 2022 for four locations in the Northeast: Rangeley 2 NW, ME (blue), Saint Johnsbury Asos, VT (black), Massena International Airport, NY (green), and Chatham Municipal Airport, MA (orange).
Departure from normal precipitation for Rangeley, ME (blue), Saint Johnsbury, VT (black), Massena International Airport, NY (green), and Chatham Municipal Airport, MA (orange). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

States continue to monitor surface and groundwater levels.

Outlooks

  • The 8–14 day outlook favors above-normal precipitation across most of the Northeast DEWS, except western New York, where normal conditions are favored. Below-normal temperatures are likely throughout the region.
  • The 3–4 week outlook favors below-normal temperatures for the entire region and below-normal precipitation for from northern/central New York through western Maine. The rest of the region has equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation.

8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above, below, or near normal conditions from January 20–26, 2022.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from January 20–26, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above, below, or near normal conditions from January 20–26, 2022.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from January 20–26, 2022. 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 January 22–February 4, 2022.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from January 22–February 4, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

Climate Prediction Center week 3-4 precipitation outlook for the U.S., from January 22–February 4, 2022.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from January 22–February 4, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

2021 Drought Recap

Animation: 2021 U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions in the Northeast

Animated GIF of a time series and map of the Northeast, showing the progression of drought conditions from the beginning to the end of 2021, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Animation showing the progression of drought across the Northeast in 2021, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Explore more historical drought conditions.
  • January 12, 2021—Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions and Moderate Drought (D1) were more widespread in the region, but there was no Severe Drought (D2).
  • April 13, 2021—Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions and Moderate Drought (D1) expanded significantly through the region.
  • June 22, 2021—Severe Drought (D2) appeared in Maine.
  • Rain provided relief for southern New England but not the north.

2021 Temperature and Precipitation Highlights

2021 Temperature Conditions

  • 2021 was the warmest year on record for Boston, MA, and Providence, RI.
  • Boston, MA, and Caribou and Portland, ME, had their warmest June on record.
    • Portland, ME, tied its longest streak of consecutive days with a high of at least 95 °F.
    • Burlington, VT; Boston, MA; and Concord, NH, set or tied their records for greatest number of June days with a high of at least 95 °F.
    • Concord, NH, set its record for the greatest number of June days with a high of at least 90 °F.
  • This August was record hot for Caribou, ME, and Buffalo and Syracuse, NY.
  • This October was the warmest on record for Syracuse, New York.
  • Caribou, ME, had its latest first fall frost on record on October 25.

2021 Precipitation Conditions

  • This July was the wettest on record for Concord, NH; Worcester, MA; and Binghamton, NY.
    • Multiple climate sites in New York and New England saw their greatest number of July days with measurable precipitation, with Albany, NY, tying its record for all months.
    • A few sites set/tied their record for greatest number of July days with at least one inch of precipitation, including Binghamton, NY, which tied its record for all months.
  • September 1 became the all-time wettest day on record for LaGuardia Airport, NY, and the wettest September day on record for Bridgeport, CT.

Regional Snowfall Departure: December 1, 2021–January 12, 2022

Snowfall departure from normal map of the Northeast DEWS, showing departure (in inches) from normal snowfall from December 1 to January 12.
Snowfall departure from normal (in inches) across the Northeast from December 1, 2021 to January 12, 2022. Source: Northeast Regional Climate Center.

2021 U.S. Total Precipitation Percentiles

  • The annual precipitation total for the contiguous U.S. in 2021 was 30.48 inches, 0.54 inches above average, ranking in the middle third of the historical record.
  • Despite near-normal precipitation at the national scale, 2021 witnessed several significant events at the regional scale, including an above-average monsoon season across the Southwest and several atmospheric river events along the Pacific Coast.
  • Drought remained extensive across much of the western U.S. throughout 2021.
Precipitation percentile rankings across the United States for 2021, compared to 1895–2021. Parts of northern VT and NH and western ME saw much below average precipitation in 2021, while other parts of the Northeast saw above average precipitation.
Precipitation percentiles for the United States in 2021, compared to the period 1895–2021. Source: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

Additional Resources

Inaugural New York and New England Snow Survey Map

Bookmark this link for biweekly monitoring of snow water equivalent (SWE).

Example New York and New England Snow Survey Map, showing snow water equivalent across the region for January 2-6, 2022.

Other Regional 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.