Northeast Drought Early Warning Update
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Drought Early Warning Update for the

October 7, 2021

Drought Conditions Improve in Northern New York and New England With the Hopes That Winter Snows can Replenish Aquifers
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.

This covers the following states in the Northeast U.S.: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.

NOTE: Monitoring continues but this will be the last regional drought update for 2021 unless conditions change significantly.
Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) held fast in northern Maine.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) and Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions surrounded the D2 in northern Maine, and held fast in portions of northern Vermont and New Hampshire. 
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions remained for a few counties in northern New York along the St. Lawrence River.
  • With recent rains, conditions improved on Cape Cod.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions

  • Severe drought (D2) exists in 1.4% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 5.4% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 17.6% of the region.
October 5, 2021, U.S. Drought Monitor Map:
Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal
State-Reported Impacts

Rhode Island

Narragansett-South Kingstown, RI Patch
Sept 23, Rhode Island. Too many consecutive dry summers slowed tree growth, leading a Christmas tree farm to close for the 2021 holiday season. The 2021 summer brought plenty of rain, but 2019 and 2020 were dry. The farm does not have enough mature trees to cut and sell this year.


Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Public Service Coordinator Tom Gordon said, "agricultural conditions are reasonably good as we approach the end of the growing season. Potato harvest looks good for quality and quantity, with no major water use conflicts noted. Other crops are looking good, with the diminishing drought reducing the irrigation workload on producers."

DACF Maine Forest Service - Regional Forest Ranger Matt Gomes said, “as we move into fall, it is important to understand that fires, and sometimes large damaging fires, are still a threat. Fall brings leaf litter, reopened canopies for solar heating, drier fuels through lower relative humidity, as well as higher winds.”

Research updates on northeast US warming:
In Case You Missed It

Here’s a link to recordings of the Northeast DEWS Drought Indicators and Tools Webinar Series.
U.S. Drought Monitor Forum

The US Drought Monitor authors have scheduled their 12th Biennial United States Drought Monitor Forum for October 21-22, 2021 from 12:00pm-3:00pm CT/1pm-4pm ET each day. Here’s the registration link for both days. The second day features a regionally focused 1 hour discussion, questions and suggestions session. The northeast US session begins at Noon CT/1pm ET.

  • The 8-14 day outlook indicates above normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the region.
  • The 3-4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures and equal precipitation chances for the region.
Temperature Outlook 8-14 Day
Precipitation Outlook 8-14 Day
Temperature Outlook Week 3-4
Precipitation Outlook Week 3-4
Additional Resources

Contacts for More Information

Regional Drought Information Coordinator (Northeast DEWS)
NOAA/CIRES/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Ellen L. Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region
NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information
Prepared By
Sylvia Reeves
NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Samantha Borisoff, Jessica Spaccio, Keith Eggleston, Art DeGaetano
Northeast Regional Climate Center

Ellen Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, NOAA

David Hollinger and Maria Janowiak
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.