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Regional Drought Update Date
August 12, 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.

Extreme drought (D3) is now established from the North Shore of Massachusetts to the Rhode Island coast.

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

Key Points

  • Extreme drought (D3) took hold in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
  • Severe drought (D2) expanded along the New England coast up through Maine’s central coast.
  • Severe drought (D2) also pushed westward through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut with scattered areas appearing in western Connecticut and southeastern New York.
  • Moderate drought (D1) and abnormally dry (D01 conditions changed little in western New York but expanded in eastern New York, now covering the entire Long Island coastline.\
  • Moderate drought (D1)  improved in much of western Maine and the northern half of New Hampshire.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | August 9, 2022

Current U.S. Drought Monitor map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System with data valid for August 9, 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
37.64%
of the Northeast is Abnormally Dry (D0)
29.30%
of the Northeast is in Moderate Drought (D1)
10.28%
of the Northeast is in Severe to Extreme Drought (D2)

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor 4-Week Change Map

From July 12 to August 9, parts of southeastern New York, eastern Massachusetts, southern Rhode Island and Connecticut, and western Connecticut saw a 2- to 3-category drought degradation. Regions in Vermont, New Hampshire, and northern Maine saw improvements.
U.S. Drought Monitor change map, showing where drought and dryness have improved or worsened from July 12–August 9, 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 August 9, 2022, 29.3% of the region is in drought.
Animation showing the progression of drought across the Northeast in 2022 so far (through August 9, 2022), according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Explore more historical drought conditions.

Accumulated Precipitation Departure from Normal

Accumulated precipitation deficits continued to increase through mid-August for Portland, Providence, Boston, and Rochester.
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 mid-August 2022 for four locations in the Northeast.
Boston, MA, recorded the largest change over the last two weeks as the accumulated potential evapotranspiration (PET) departure from normal increased by over a quarter inch. Source: ACIS.

State-Reported Impacts

Connecticut

  • August 5, 2022: University of Connecticut: The Daily Campus – Water Conservation Alert
  • August 4, 2022: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Drought Report – Fisheries Impacts (pg. 30)
    • Fish populations are stressed due to low flows and heat on the Farmington River
    • Fire danger is moderate to high across the state 
  • August 4, 2022: Connecticut Water – Conservation Request

Maine

  • August 5, 2022: News Center Maine – Third Consecutive Year of Drought
  • August 4, 2022: Maine Drought Task Force report
    • There are sporadic reports of low water quantity from public water suppliers in all areas of Maine except northern Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties and Aroostook County.
    • The Stonington Water Company has issued mandatory water use restrictions and is currently augmenting its supply with water transported by tanker.
    • Drought has increased operating costs for farmers due to increased irrigation. 
    • There are concerns about reduced crop yields.
  • August 2, 2022: NECN – Drought Fuels Wildfires in Maine

Massachusetts

The Yantic River in Massachusetts experienced record low flow on August 9.
The Yantic River, looking downstream towards gauge. The flow was 2.8 cubic feet/second on August 9, 2022, which is a record low for this day of the year with 91 years of record. Despite the record low flow, brook trout were observed in one of the deeper pools. Photo credit: Ron Horwood, National Weather Service Northeast River Forecast Center.

New York

Rhode Island

Outlooks

  • According to the Climate Prediction Center's 8–14 day outlook (valid August 19–25), odds favor above-normal precipitation for much of the region, except for Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, and central/eastern Maine, where there is a greater likelihood of near-normal conditions. Above-normal temperatures are favored for the entire Northeast except far-western New York, where odds favor near-normal conditions.
  • The week 3–4 outlook (valid August 20–September 2) shows equal chances of above- or below-normal precipitation for the entire region. Odds favor above-normal temperatures across the Northeast.

8–14 Day Temperature Outlook

From August 19 to 25, odds favor above-normal temperatures across the Northeast, except for far-western New York..
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 19–25, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

8–14 Day Precipitation Outlook

From August 19 to 25, odds favor above-normal precipitation for most of the region, except for Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, and central and eastern Maine, which favor near-normal conditions.
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 19–25, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center via the Northeast DEWS Dashboard.

Temperature Outlook Week 3–4

From August 20–September 2, 2022, odds favor above-normal temperatures for the entire Northeast.
NOAA Climate Prediction Center week 3–4 temperature outlook for the Northeast, showing the probability of above-normal or below-normal conditions from August 20–September 2, 2022. Issued August 5, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

Precipitation Outlook Week 3–4

From August 20 to September 2, 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 20–September 2, 2022. Issued August 5, 2022. Source: Climate Prediction Center.

What We Are Watching

Extreme Heat

Northeast Daily High Minimum Temperature Records

Daily high minimum temperature records for August 2022. Providence, RI and Portland, ME saw their record-high daily minimum temperature on August 8 and 7, respectively.
Daily high and low temperature records were set across the Northeast in early August. This table includes a subset of daily high minimum temperature records that are also ranked among the 10 hottest low temperatures observed in August or, in some cases, in the site’s period of record.

Agriculture

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.