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Regional Drought Update Date
November 18, 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.

Despite rainfall from post-tropical storm Nicole, groundwater and long-term precipitation deficits persist in New England and southern New York.

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

Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) remained for communities north of Boston.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) was spotty through parts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, southern New York, and Connecticut.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions were cleared from upstate New York by rains from the remnants of Nicole.
  • Six and twelve-month precipitation departures are still quite significant in some parts of southern New England.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | November 15, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for November 15, 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 0.35% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 2.73% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 12.01% 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
12.01%
of the Northeast is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
2.73%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
4.84%
of Massachusetts is in Severe Drought (D2)

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor 1-Week Change Map

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a large area of western New York saw a 1-category improvement in the last week.
U.S. Drought Monitor change map, showing where drought and dryness have improved or worsened from November 8–15, 2022. Source: National Drought Mitigation Center.

Accumulated Precipitation Departure from Normal

Precipitation deficits at stations across the Northeast have slightly improved after weeks of degradations. However, Boston's precipitation deficits have continued to decrease.
Departure from normal precipitation (inches) for Portland Area, ME (blue), Concord Area, NH (black), Boston Area, MA (green), Providence Area, RI (orange), Bridgeport Area, CT (purple), Islip Area, NY (red), and Rochester Area, NY (yellow). Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Drought Conditions and Impacts

Connecticut

Connecticut Precipitation (Inches) by County: May–October 2022

County  

Rainfall (in.)

Departure (in.)

Percent (%)

Normal (in.)

Litchfield 

23.15 

-4.05 

85% 

27.20

Hartford 

22.35 

-4.85 

82% 

27.20

Tolland 

23.72 

-1.59 

94% 

25.31

Windham 

23.40 

-2.07 

92% 

25.47

Fairfield 

21.70 

-4.82 

82%

26.52

New Haven 

23.25 

-1.96 

92% 

25.21

Middlesex 

25.28 

-1.69 

94% 

26.97

New London 

21.49 

-3.29 

87% 

24.78
 

Connecticut Precipitation (Inches) by County: November 2021–October 2022

County

Rainfall (in.) 

Departure (in.) 

Percent (%) 

Normal (in.)

Litchfield 

44.89 

-5.81 

89% 

50.70

Hartford 

42.46 

-8.46 

83% 

50.92

Tolland 

44.46 

-5.65 

89%

50.11

Windham 

45.03 

-5.19 

90% 

50.23

Fairfield 

39.75 

-10.63 

79% 

50.38

New Haven 

42.55 

-6.15 

87% 

48.70

Middlesex 

45.77 

-5.72 

89% 

51.49

New London 

41.20 

-8.93 

82% 

50.13

Connecticut preliminary precipitation data (inches) by county through October 2022 (includes CoCoRaHS data) for the past 6 months (top) and 12 months (bottom). Source: National Weather Service: Boston/Norton, MA, Albany, NY, and Upton, NY.

Maine

Massachusetts

According to the state of Massachusetts' drought status map from November 14, the Connecticut River Valley Region, Northeast Region, and Cape Cod Region are in Level 1 - Mild Drought. The Islands Region is in Level 2 - Significant Drought.
Massachusetts Drought Status map for November 14, 2022, issued by the Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force. Drought level classifications are based on criteria in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, and may differ from national drought maps. Source: Massachusetts Drought Management Task Force.

New Hampshire

New York

According to the latest drought conditions map from the state of New York, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Putnam, Nassau, and Suffolk counties are in the "watch" Drought Stage.
New York State Current Drought Conditions map, issue by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Drought stage classifications are based on a State Drought Index, which may differ from national drought maps. Source: New York DEC.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Precipitation (Inches) by Drought Region: May–October 2022

Rhode Island Drought Region

Rainfall (in.)

Departure (in.)

Percent (%)

Normal (in.)

Northwest 

25.56 

-0.21 

99% 

25.77

Northeast 

24.60 

-0.16 

99% 

24.76

Central West 

22.37 

-2.44 

90% 

24.81

Central East 

22.87 

-0.73 

97%

23.60

Eastern 

19.78 

-2.45 

89% 

22.23

Southern 

21.41 

-2.10 

91% 

23.51

New Shoreham 

19.40 

-3.90 

83% 

23.30

Rhode Island Precipitation (Inches) by Drought Region: November 2021–October 2022

Rhode Island Drought Region

Rainfall (in.)

Departure (in.)

Percent (%)

Normal (in.)

Northwest 

48.98 

-4.80 

91% 

53.78

Northeast 

46.76 

-4.90 

91% 

51.66

Central West 

44.71 

-6.06 

88% 

50.77

Central East 

43.67 

-6.64 

87% 

50.31

Eastern 

38.90 

-8.73 

82% 

47.63

Southern 

42.79 

-7.14 

86% 

49.93

New Shoreham 

37.79 

-10.61 

78% 

48.40

Rhode Island preliminary precipitation data (inches) by drought region through October 2022 (includes CoCoRaHS data) for the past 6 months (top) and 12 months (bottom). Source: Boston/Norton, MA Weather Forecast Office, National Weather Service.

Vermont

Outlooks

  • According to the Climate Prediction Center's 8–14 day outlook (valid November 25–December 1, 2022), odds favor below-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation throughout the Northeast.
  • The week 3–4 outlook (valid November 26–December 9, 2022) favors above-normal temperatures and equal chances of above- and below-normal precipitation across the entire Northeast.

8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

From November 25 to December 1, odds favor below-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 November 25–December 1, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

From November 25 to December 1, there are equal chances of above- and below-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 November 25–December 1. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

From November 26 to December 9, odds favor above-normal temperatures for the Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from November 26–December 9, 2022. Issued November 11, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

From November 26 to December 9, there are 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 November 26–December 9, 2022. Issued November 11, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

What We Are Watching

Urban Heat Mapping Campaigns

NOAA announced the application window for the Urban Heat Mapping Initiative.

Watch for a link in the next Drought Status Update to a recording of the Urban Heat Mapping results from 2022 campaign cities.  

Featured Resources

  • Flash Drought Tools: Advantages and Disadvantages by Indicator Type
  • Flash Drought Prediction and Monitoring Tools
  • Experimental Rapid Onset Drought Product in the National Weather Service's Week-2 U.S. Hazards Outlook
  • New: Northeast DEWS Dashboard Groundwater Status Map
    • This map is located under the "USGS Streamflow and Groundwater" section of the Dashboard. Access the percentile classes by clicking on the "USGS" tile below the groundwater map.
    • This map is based on observations retrieved from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Instantaneous Values Web Service. Data include approved, quality-assured data, as well as more recent provisional data, whose accuracy has not been verified by USGS. USGS data are provided to meet the need for timely best science and on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the data.
    • Station percentile values used in this map were computed by the Northeast Regional Climate Center. They are based on the historical data occurring within a 31-day window centered on the date of interest and filtered down to just the measurement taken closest to the date of interest for each year. These percentile values, therefore, may differ from those available from other sources, where other methods of percentile computation may have been employed.
  • New: USGS Water Cycle Diagram 
    • This tool is available in Spanish and English and as an educational resource with interactive versions for kids (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).
  • Northeast DEWS Partners meeting resources list

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.