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Regional Drought Update Date
October 21, 2022
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Status Update for the Northeast


DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

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

Improvements in Drought Conditions Across the Region as Leaves, Temperatures, and Water Demands Fall.

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

Key Points

  • Extreme Drought (D3) was eliminated north of Boston, but Severe Drought (D2) remains.
  • Severe Drought (D2) also lingered in a small corner of southeastern New York.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) remained for portions of southeastern New York, western Connecticut, Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire.
  • Abnormally Dry conditions (D0) persisted in the New York City area and in portions of western and northern New York state. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire. and Maine also held on to some Abnormally Dry conditions (D0).
  • Many New York and New England states and municipalities still urge water conservation despite improved drought conditions.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | October 18, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for October 18, 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) conditions exist in 0.79% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 6.44% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 16.90% 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
0.79%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)
6.44%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
16.90%
of the Northeast is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor 4-Week Change Map

Over the past 4 weeks, part of every state in the Northeast has experienced drought improvements.
U.S. Drought Monitor change map, showing where drought and dryness have improved or worsened from September 20–October 18, 2022. Source: National Drought Mitigation Center.

Animation: U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions Over the Past 8 Weeks

From August 23 to October 18, the Northeast went from 33.92% in drought to 7.21% in drought.
Animation showing the progression of drought across the Northeast over the past 8 weeks (August 23–October 18), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Explore more historical drought conditions.

Accumulated Precipitation Departure from Normal

In the past few weeks, precipitation deficits in Portland, Maine have been significantly reduced, while Boston precipitation remains nearly 10 inches below normal.
Departure from normal precipitation (inches) for Portland Area, ME (blue), Boston Area, MA (black), Worcester Area, MA (light green), Providence Area, RI (orange), Hartford Area, CT (purple), Bridgeport Area, CT (red), New York – Central Park Area (yellow), and Islip Area, NY (dark green). Source: ACIS.

Regional 2-Inch Soil Temperature (°F): October 19, 2022

2-inch soil temperatures are 51 to 57+ degrees F in coastal areas of the Northeast, with temperatures between 39 and 51 degrees in the rest of the region.
Two-inch soil temperature (°F) for October 19, 2022. Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

New England

Connecticut

Maine

Massachusetts

New York

Rhode Island

Vermont

Outside the Northeast

Outlooks

  • According to the Climate Prediction Center's 8–14 day outlook (valid October 28–November 3, 2022), odds favor above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation across the Northeast. 
  • The week 3–4 outlook (valid October 29–November 11, 2022) favors above-normal temperatures in Maine, northern New Hampshire, and northwestern Vermont, with equal chances of above- or below-normal temperatures elsewhere. The entire Northeast has equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation.

8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

From October 28 to November 3, odds favor above-normal temperatures across 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 October 28–November 3, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

From October 28 to November 2, odds favor near-normal precipitation across the Northeast.
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 28–November 3. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

From October 29–November 11, 2022, odds favor above-normal temperatures for Maine, northern New Hampshire, and northeastern Vermont, with equal chances elsewhere.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from October 29–November 11, 2022. Issued October 14, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

From October 29–November 11, 2022, odds favor equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation throughout the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from October 29–November 11, 2022. Issued October 14, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

What We Are Watching

Northeast DEWS partners will continue to monitor drought conditions throughout the fall and winter. We will switch to a monthly drought status update schedule with the publication of our November 18 update. We will return to biweekly updates in the spring or as conditions warrant. 

Register for the Northeast DEWS Partners Meeting on November 1–2 in Glen Falls, New York. Registrations will continue until capacity limits are reached and virtual attendance will be available for the plenary sessions. Contact Sylvia.Reeves@noaa.gov if you have questions. 

Featured Resources

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
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 status 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 status updates as conditions evolve.