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Regional Drought Update Date
July 29, 2022
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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.

Severe drought (D2) coverage expanded in southern New England—a trend that may continue.

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

Key Points

  • Severe drought (D2) expanded southward into portions of eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut and covered most of Rhode Island.
  • Moderate drought (D1) pushed into some of the eastern-most counties of New York and expanded across the western Southern Tier of the state.
  • Abnormally dry conditions (D0) gained a foothold on Long Island and expanded across additional counties in southeastern New York.
  • Welcomed rainfall paused deterioration in northern New England and the Northern Tier counties of western New York.
  • Multiple locations had near record-setting long streaks of days with highs of at least 90°F from June 19–25, with the heat exacerbating the dry conditions. JFK Airport observed a record-tying seven consecutive days with a low of 75°F or higher.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | July 26, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for July 26, 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 exists in 4.99% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 29.02% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 30.87% 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
30.87%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)
29.02%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
4.99%
of the Northeast is in Severe Drought (D2)

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor 1-Week Change Map

From July 19 to 26, parts of southern New York, eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut, and all of Rhode island saw a 1-category drought degradation, while other states saw pockets of improvements.
U.S. Drought Monitor change map, showing where drought and dryness have improved or worsened from July 19–26, 2022. Source: National Drought Mitigation Center.

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

At the beginning of 2022, 3.65% of the Northeast was in drought. As of July 26, 2022, 34.01% of the region is in drought.
Animation showing the progression of drought across the Northeast in 2022 so far (through July 26, 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 July 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 July 2022 for four locations in the Northeast.
Unseasonably warm temperatures resulted in greater than normal evapotranspiration rates across the region during the last two weeks. Source: ACIS.

    Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)

    Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) for the Northeast, which measures the amount of precipitation necessary to return the soil to full field capacity. The greatest moisture deficiencies in the region are in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
    The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) attempts to measure the amount of precipitation, in hundredths of inches, necessary to return the soil to full field capacity. The index ranges from zero, the point of no moisture deficiency, to 800, the maximum drought that is possible, and represents a moisture regime from 0 to 8 inches of water through the soil layer. Source: ACIS, via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

    State-Reported Impacts

    National

    Connecticut

    Maine

    Massachusetts

    The Charles River in Medway, Massachusetts, showing low flow conditions on July 21, 2022.
    Charles River downstream of Walker St. in Medway, MA on July 21, 2022. The USGS Charles River at Medway streamgage (01103280) had a flow of 8.7 cubic feet/second (cfs); the long-term (1997 to present) median flow on this day of the year is about 21 cfs. Photo by USGS.
    Avery Brook in Whatley, Massachusetts, showing low flow of 0.48 cubic feet per second on July 25.
    Avery Brook in Whately, MA on July 25, 2022. The USGS Avery Brook near Whately, MA streamgage (01171000) had a flow of 0.48 cfs on this day. Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey Flow Photo Explorer Project.

    New York

    Rhode Island

    Outlooks

    • According to the Climate Prediction Center's 8–14 day outlook (valid August 4–10), odds favor above-normal temperatures across the Northeast. There is a greater likelihood of below-normal precipitation for New York, most of Vermont, and eastern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; odds favor near-normal precipitation in the rest of the region.
      • With above-normal temperatures and below- or near-normal rainfall predicted for New York and New England, drought and dryness are expected to persist and possibly intensify.
    • The week 3–4 outlook (valid August 6–19) shows an increased probability of above-normal temperatures for most of the region, except for Maine and the northeastern corner of New Hampshire, where there are equal chances of above- and below-normal temperatures. The entire Northeast has equal chances of above- and below-normal precipitation.

    8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

    From August 4-10, 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 August 4–10, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

    8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

    From August 4-10, odds favor below-normal precipitation for New York, most of Vermont, and eastern New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center 8–14 day precipitation outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal, below-normal, or normal conditions from August 4–10, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

    Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

    From August 6–19, 2022, odds favor above-normal temperatures for the entire Northeast except the northeastern corner of New Hampshire and all of Maine.
    NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from August 6–19, 2022. Issued July 22, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

    Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

    From August 6-19, 2022, there are equal chances of above- and below-normal precipitation across 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 August 6–19, 2022. Issued July 22, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

    What We Are Watching

    Monitoring potential drought introduction, expansion, or intensification on Northeast DEWS borders:

    Monitoring agriculture reporting systems:

    • July 28, 2022, New York field crop conditions: Corn and soybeans are struggling in several New York counties.
      • Dutchess – Pastures need rain to recoup. Late-planted corn is not faring well, but early-planted corn is looking good.
      • Wyoming/Geneseo/Livingston – Soybeans are struggling.
      • Lewis – Variable dry conditions.
      • Oneida – With rain, wheat yields are okay. Second hay cutting is light.
      • Chautauqua – Some short corn.
      • Rensselaer – Short corn; may need to replant with other crops
    • July 26, 2022, American Agriculturist – For some crops, rains came too late
    • July 21, 2022, New York field crop conditions: Corn is dry and/or curling in several New York counties.
      • Columbia/Schenectady/Albany – Corn is curling in parts of some fields.
      • Central and Finger Lakes Regions:
        • Aurora – Dry soils, stressed plants.
        • Seneca Lake – Corn plants are also curling.
        • Tompkins County – Dry corn, irrigating at Musgrave Farm.
        • Cortland/Chemung – Rain didn’t offer much relief. Various stages of corn stress are reported. Very short and very curled corn in some areas.
      • Tioga County, Owego – Corn is really dry.

    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.