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0

counties with USDA Drought Disaster Designations (primary)

0

Maine residents in areas of drought, according to the Drought Monitor

45th

driest April on record (since 1895)

24th

wettest January—April on record (since 1895)

Current Maine Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of ME
20.6
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions

Experimental
Experimental

Drought in Maine

Known best for its autumn foliage, thick forests, rocky soils, and abundant freshwater resources, Maine is characterized by a diverse climate that is not often associated with drought. However, drought is a normal recurring feature in all climatic regions, and in 1999–2002, Maine experienced its most damaging drought to date. In the 9 months leading up to April 2002, an estimated 17,000 private wells ran dry, and farmers lost more than $32 million in crop yield between 2001 and 2002. Since this historic drought, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent replacing antiquated water mains and upgrading interconnections—in preparation for future droughts. More recently, Maine experienced significant droughts in both 2016 and 2020-2022, with widespread impacts to water supply, agriculture, and recreation. The 2020 drought can be considered a “flash” drought—the rapid onset of intense dry periods that can follow a period of normal to above-normal precipitation.

Maine has also begun to experience snow drought—periods of abnormally thin snowpack that may occur due to a complete lack of precipitation, or an occurrence of winter rains that do not contribute, and may even reduce, total snowpack. This phenomenon likely contributed to the continuation of drought in 2021 and 2022. As winter temperatures generally continue to increase in Maine, winters become shorter, total snowpack may decrease, and spring runoff important for groundwater recharge may diminish, leading to more potential challenges with drought through the summer. 

NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) launched the Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) to improve drought early warning capacity and build long-term drought resilience throughout New England and New York. The Northeast DEWS is a network of regional and national partners that share information and coordinate actions to help communities in the region cope with drought.

Reach out to Sylvia Reeves, the Regional Drought Coordinator for this region, for more information, or sign up for the Northeast DEWS newsletter.

Maine State Drought Resources

State Drought Agency: 

Maine Emergency Management Agency, Drought Task Force

State Emergency Operations Plan

State of Maine Emergency Operations Plan – Drought Annex (2017)

State Climate Office: 

Maine Climate Office

Other State Drought Resources: 

Maine Drought Task Force | Dry Well Survey

Maine Current Conditions

A number of physical indicators are important for monitoring drought, such as precipitation & temperature, water supply (e.g., streamflow, reservoirs), and soil moisture. Learn more about monitoring drought.

Maine Precipitation Conditions

Inches of Precipitation
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
100%

Maine Temperature Conditions

Maximum Temperature (°F)
60
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
0

Maine Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Maine Soil Moisture Conditions

20 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100
0–100 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
70
100

Outlooks & Forecasts for Maine

Predicting drought in Maine depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. View more outlooks & forecasts.

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
1.75
Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
100%
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
100%
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures
100%

Drought Outlooks for Maine

Drought Is Predicted To...
Drought Is Predicted To...

Historical Drought Conditions in Maine

Drought is a normal climate pattern that has occurred in varying degrees of length, severity, and size throughout history. Below, you can look back at past drought conditions for Maine according to 3 historical drought indices. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a monthly depiction of drought based on precipitation (with data going back to 1895). And the paleoclimate data uses tree-ring reconstructions to estimate drought conditions before we had widespread instrumental records, going back to the year 0 for some parts of the U.S. View more historical conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor (2000–present) depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country. Every Thursday, authors from NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center produce a new map based on their assessments of the best available data and input from local observers. The map uses five categories: Abnormally Dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought (D1–D4). Learn more.

Drought Resources for Maine

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

Drought Alert Emails
Get email updates when U.S. Drought Monitor conditions change for your location or a new drought outlook is released.

Northeast Drought Status Updates
NIDIS & its partners issue regional updates covering drought conditions, outlooks/forecasts, and local impacts.

Northeast Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for the Northeast.

NOAA Eastern Region Climate Services Webinars
The Northeast Regional Climate Center hosts a monthly webinar with NOAA affiliates to address timely weather and climate concerns.

Get Involved: Submit Local Drought Impacts

Drought in your area? Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions.