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Latest Drought Statement from NWS Gray, ME

 

AXUS71 KGYX 111941
DGTGYX
MEC001-005-007-011-013-015-017-023-025-027-031-NHC001-003-005-007-
009-011-013-015-017-019-181945-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
241 PM EST Fri Dec 11 2020

...SIGNIFICANT DROUGHT RELIEF FOR MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE...

.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:
More consistent precipitation this fall and several significant
precipitation episodes in recent weeks have led to great
improvements in drought conditions across New Hampshire and
western Maine.

Drought conditions developed very rapidly in the middle of may.
The period may 16 to June 25 was exceptionally dry, with almost no
rain falling. There was some relief in late June and July,
especially in western Maine and northern New Hampshire. From the
middle of August through the end of September very dry conditions
set in again, exacerbating the drought. Some locations reported
their driest September on record. The National Centers for
Environmental Information reported the September was the driest on
record for Maine and the 7th driest in New Hampshire.

Beginning in mid October, more consistent precipitation returned
to the region. November saw several heavy rain storms including
one which brought some rivers over flood stage, something not seen
since April. Most locations have received normal to well above
normal precipitation for the past 60 days.

With the release of the U.S. Drought Monitor on December 10, the
worst of the drought was in southeast New Hampshire where Severely
Dry (D2) conditions existed roughly between Manchester, Concord, 
and Rochester. Moderate Drought (D1) conditions extend from near 
Hanover, New Hampshire to the seacoast including York County in 
Maine. Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions cover the remaining parts of
the southern half of New Hampshire as well as coastal areas of 
Maine.

.Precipitation:
Precipitation for the period May 16 through October 12 was
exceptionally dry, especially in parts of southern New Hampshire.
Concord was the driest on record (153 years) for that period at
just 7.08 inches. At Portland this period was 22nd driest on 
record (150 years) at 8.84 inches.

Beginning in mid October more consistent precipitation began to
fall again, including several heavy rain episodes. From October 13
to December 10, a period of 59 days, most locations received more
precipitation than during the previous 150 days combined. The
following table lists the precipitation amounts received and 
their departures from normal during the core period of the drought
and during the recent recovery for several NWS Climate locations 
in the region.

LOCATION    May 16 to Oct 12  Oct 13 to Dec 10   Since Jan 1
Manchester    6.88 (-12.10)     10.30 (+2.62)   31.20 (-12.54)
Concord       7.08 (-10.45)      9.76 (+2.46)   29.25 (-10.91)
Portland      8.84  (-9.29)     11.84 (+2.47)   38.52  (-6.97)
Gray NWS     14.29  (-6.09)     14.07 (+4.20)   45.73  (-3.25)
Augusta      11.41  (-6.16)     14.96 (+6.66)   41.02  (-1.02

.Hydrologic conditions:
River flows have recovered in recent weeks, and as of December 10
are in the normal to above normal range in western Maine and near
normal in New Hampshire. Some locations have seen river flooding
in recent weeks including along the northern portion of the
Pemigewasset River and Saco River in New Hampshire and the
Kennebec River in Maine.

In western Maine, most groundwater monitoring wells operated by 
the USGS are now near normal. Two are above normal and one is much
above normal. Only one monitoring well is below normal. All 
locations have shown significant increases in groundwater levels 
in recent weeks.

In New Hampshire, most groundwater monitoring wells operated by
the USGS are still below normal. All locations have recorded
significant increases in groundwater levels in recent weeks and
are still rising.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

.Agricultural impacts:
The core of the drought occurred during the entirety of the
growing season in 2020. The recent recovery has occurred after the
growing season ended. During the core period of drought, crops
such as corn, potatoes, blueberries, barley, and forage crops were
most affected. Feed storage for livestock for the winter months is
very low. 



.Hydrologic Impacts:

Residential wells in both Maine and New Hampshire were affected. 
Either due to decreasing yield or going dry altogether.

Currently reservoir levels on the Androscoggin and Kennebec
Rivers are above normal for the time of year. Reservoirs in the
Androscoggin River basin are 75.6 percent full which is 11.2
percent above normal. Reservoirs in the Kennebec River Basin are
81.8 percent full which is 21.6 percent above normal.
is due to the fact that river basin managers are releasing the 
minimum amount of water required by their license agreement. Lake 
Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire is 0.6 feet below normal. 
Some lakes are at or near levels experienced during the 2016 
drought. 

Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is about a half foot below
normal for the time of year.

.Fire hazards:
There are currently no fire hazard issues in Maine or New
Hampshire due to the increase in precipitation and snow cover.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:

With the increase in precipitation and the end of the outdoor
water use season, water restrictions will likely be eased or
dropped altogether.

There are currently no water restrictions in Maine.

.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:

The Climate Prediction Center calls for above normal precipitation
over the next 2 weeks. The outlook for the month of December is
also above normal. The 3-month outlook for December through
February calls for equal chances of above or below normal
precipitation. It is likely that remaining drought impacts will
continue to decrease in intensity or be eliminated altogether. The
most important thing at this stage is to see groundwater levels
recover. This will likely continue to occur until the ground is
completely frozen for the winter with recovery beginning again in
the spring. 

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

This product will be only be updated if significant drought 
conditions return.

.RELATED WEB SITES:

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:
NWS Gray: http://www.weather.gov/gyx
U.S. Drought Monitor: https://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
U.S. Drought Portal: https://drought.gov/
Climate Prediction Center (CPC): https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC): http://nrcc.cornel.edu/
Northeast River Forecast Center (NE
National Weather Service
1 Weather Lane
Gray ME 04039
Phone...207-688-3216RFC): https://www.weather.gov/nerfc/

Additional water and river information:
NWS: https://water.weather.gov/
OWP: https://water.noaa.gov/
U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS): https://water.usgs.gov/
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):
https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES):
https://www.des.nh.gov

.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:

The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental 
Information, the USDA, state and regional center climatologists, 
the USGS, and the National Drought Mitigation Center.

.CONTACT INFORMATION:

If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
PO Box 1208
1 Weather Lane
Gray, ME. 04039
Phone: 207-688-3216
Email: gyx.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$

CK/TFH