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Regional Drought Update Date
July 1, 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.

Moderate drought (D1) expands in southern New England and Maine, with a significant expansion of abnormally dry (D0) conditions in New York and New England.

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

Key Points

  • Moderate drought (D1) expanded:
    • Along the central coast of Maine and inland.
    • Westward through the Connecticut River Valley in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
    • Into small portions of New Hampshire and Vermont.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions:
    • Expanded into most of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
    • Massachusetts and Connecticut saw expansion westward of the Connecticut River Valley and into the Berkshires.
    • Additional counties in the Finger Lakes and Capital regions of New York became abnormally dry as well.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | June 28, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for June 28, 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:

  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 13.29% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 33.37% 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
33.37%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)
13.29%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor 1-Week Change Map

From June 21 to June 28, areas in every state in the Northeast DEWS (except Rhode Island) saw a one-category degradation, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
U.S. Drought Monitor change map, showing where drought and dryness have improved or worsened from June 21–28, 2022. Source: National Drought Mitigation Center.

 Animation: 2022 U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions in the Northeast

Animation of a map and statistics showing the progression of drought across the Northeast from January 4 to June 28, 2022, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Animation showing the progression of drought across the Northeast in 2022 so far (through June 28, 2022), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Explore more historical drought conditions.

Accumulated Precipitation Departure from Normal

Accumulated precipitation departures from normal for four locations across the Northeast through June 2022.
Departure from normal precipitation (inches) for Portland Area, ME (blue), Rochester Area, NY (orange), Boston Area, MA (black), and Providence Area, RI (green). Source: ACIS.

Accumulated Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) Departure from Normal

Accumulated potential evapotranspiration (PET) departure from normal from March to June 2022 for four locations in the Northeast.
The accumulated PET departure increased significantly (indicating drier conditions) over the last two weeks in Buffalo, NY (gray). Caribou, ME (yellow) and New York City (blue), meanwhile, continue to experience PET rates that are less than normal through this point in the season. Source: ACIS.

    State-Reported Impacts

    Maine

    Massachusetts

    Update from Dave Celino, Chief Fire Warden, Massachusetts DCR on June 29, 2022:

    • Fire Behavior: "We are in full green up, and as such, fire activity has been low to 0 over the last 3 weeks. Large fire growth this time of year is typically limited by fully green fuels, higher fuel moistures, and shading of fuels under fully leafed out forest canopies. We started to see a few small fires this past weekend, which showed fire behavior matching the KBDI values, meaning they were burning a few inches into the upper soil layers. Grasses and low shrub fuels are just starting to show signs of curing from the slowly increasing dry conditions; however, there have been no wildland fire control issues connected to the indices as of yet. We’ll be watching this trend closely, and communicating with our partners and stakeholders."
    • Defoliation Concerns: "Massachusetts is seeing noticeable defoliation from Spongy Moth. Landscapes experiencing widespread defoliation on upper, droughty sites will see increased drying of surface fuels from lack of canopy shading, and an increase of direct sunlight. This could have a direct effect on fire behavior, by increasing fuel availability and potentially increasing fire growth on these affected sites. The fire behavior concern is the effects of defoliation exacerbating the trending drought stresses on light surface fuels. Our Forest Health staff are currently surveying the extent of defoliation across the state, which will give us the scope of the issue."

    New York

    Vermont

    Outlooks

    • According to the Climate Prediction Center's 8–14 day outlook (valid July 8–14), odds favor below-normal temperatures across most of the Northeast except western New York, where there is a greater likelihood of near-normal conditions. Above-normal precipitation is favored across the region, from New York through the southern border of Maine; in the rest of Maine, odds favor near-normal precipitation.
    • The week 3–4 outlook (valid July 9–22) predicts equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation across the entire Northeast, and odds favor above-normal temperatures for the region.

    8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

    From July 8-14, odds favor below-normal temperatures across the Northeast DEWS, except for western New York, which has equal chances.
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 8–14, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

    8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

    Above-normal precipitation is favored across the region, from New York through the southern border of Maine; in the rest of Maine, odds favor near-normal precipitation
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from July 8–14, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

    Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

    From July 9–July 22, 2022, odds favor above normal-temperatures across 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 July 9–22, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

    Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

    From July 9–22, 2022, the Northeast has equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation.
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from July 9–22, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

    What We Are Watching

    With respect to rapid onset and intensification of drought, incoming Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMORs) are critical. Learn more about the process and share your observations. Here’s a sample of a recent report: 

    CMOR Report Detail: June 27, 2022

    • State/Territory: New York
    • County: Montgomery
    • Date: 6/27/2022
    • How dry or wet is it? Mildly Dry
    • How much experience do you have with conditions there? 5-10 years
    • How many times in the past have you seen it like this? Twice or more
    • When was it most recently like this? 2021
    • How localized or widespread are the conditions you are reporting? Yards and fields are dry and turning brown in areas. Fire spread is very high. Small creeks and streams are running low.
    • Crop production: less water in ponds, creeks, etc.
    • Public health impact air quality: dust, pollen; garden needs more water or yields less
    • Household impact: increased lawn landscape watering; dry lawn: increased power bill
    • Fire impact: more fire risk
    • Forestry impact: no new season growth/no new buds; leaves discolored, shriveled, burnt; dead trees; more invasive species
    • Freshwater fish impact: less water; reduced streamflow
    • Description and/or caption information: Lawns and fields have to be mowed less often lately. Lawns are starting to turn brown in certain areas. Streams and creeks are running lower than usual. Some trees have shown slow leaf growth and an increase in invasive bugs. Gardens and lawns have been needing more water than usual.

    NIDIS and Northeast DEWS News

    The Northeast DEWS has selected a date and location for its 2022 Partners Meeting. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 2. The meeting will be held at the Queensbury Hotel and Conference Center in Glens Falls, New York. Agenda and travel information will be made available in the coming weeks.

    Additional Resources

    This week we feature a water deficit calculator from Cornell University’s Northeast Region Climate Center and some important information from the USDA Northeast Climate Hub:

    Also see:

    Use these sites to keep tabs on drought degradation and improvements in the areas outside of the Northeast DEWS borders:

    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 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.