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Drought Monitor for Northeast
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Useful Links:
Recent NWS Precipitation Analysis
Total Soil Moisture Anomaly
Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
Soil Moisture (Leaky Bucket Model)
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Northeast Regional Climate Center
Climate Prediction Center
US Drought Monitor
State Drought Links
State of New Hampshire Drought Resources
State of Maine Drought Resources
USGS Drought Webpages: NH, ME
USGS Streamflow Conditions: NH, ME
USGS Groundwater Conditions: NH, ME


Latest Drought Statement from NWS Gray, ME


AXUS71 KGYX 051751

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
151 PM EDT Thu Aug 5 2021


The active weather pattern in July resulted in some areas 
receiving significant rainfall while others missed out. The 
coastal and foothills of mountains received the least amount of 
rainfall with these areas remaining in the severe drought 
introduced in late June. The coastal counties received and three 
times their normal rainfall, effectively ending drought conditions
for southern counties. The Lakes and Mountains regions saw less 
rainfall averaging 75-125% of normal, effectively keeping a status
quo on the severe drought conditions. Continued drought across 
watershed headwaters is keeping most area rivers and reservoirs 
below normal levels. 

.Drought intensity and extent:
Here is a breakdown of the current U.S. Drought Monitor across
western Maine and New Hampshire issued on August 3, 2021. The 
recent drought monitor remained relatively unchanged for Maine, 
and only removed a small portion of New Hampshire from the D0. 
This was primarily due to heavy rainfall across southern and 
coastal counties in July.

In New Hampshire, 1% of the state is in a severe drought D2 
across eastern Coos County. The moderate drought conditions D1
across the remainder of northern New Hampshire remains steady at 
12% across the remainder of Coos County. The abnormally dry D0 
areas across central counties were reduced from 21% to 17% areal 
coverage. Southern counties remain out of the drought designations
due to recent heavy rains and flooding conditions from near 
record rains in July.

In Maine, most northern counties meanwhile remain in a moderate or
severe drought with little improvement as rainfall amounts were 
limited in those areas. Severe drought (D2) conditions were 
designated for 14% of Maine over portions of Oxford, Franklin, and
Somerset Counties. The areas in D1 were was expanded to the 
north, which is outside of the local forecast area. Please 
reference the Drought Information Statement issued by the NWS in 

Precipitation in July was 200 to 500% of normal across central and 
southern portions of New Hampshire, and 150 to 300% in southern 
Maine. Northern Maine and New Hampshire saw rainfall amounts 75 to
150% of normal. 


MONTH    Portland ME    Augusta ME    Concord NH   Manchester NH
JANUARY  2.27/-1.11     1.89/-0.72     1.89/-0.81    2.24/-0.78
FEBRUARY 2.90/-0.35     2.14/-0.29     2.72/+0.10    2.39/-0.39
MARCH    2.78/-1.46     1.95/-1.42     1.45/-1.82    1.57/-2.76
APRIL    3.45/-0.87     3.58/-0.21     2.86/-0.55    3.39/-0.47
MAY      2.27/-1.40     1.67/-1.60     2.99/-0.48    3.43/+0.05
JUNE     0.76/-3.39     0.70/-3.31     1.18/-2.59    1.50/-2.54
JULY     9.53/+6.10     6.62/+3.42     13.04/+9.42   10.61/+7.31

TOTALS  24.15/-2.63     18.55/-3.90    26.24/+3.12   25.26/+2.59

The stream and groundwater networks maintained by the United
States Geological Survey were used in this report.

.Surface water:
Rainfall deficits continued for the headwaters of the Penobscot,
Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Connecticut Rivers, where D2
conditions remain. Short term recharge was observed at downstream
river gages in areas within 50 to 75 miles from the coast where 
the heaviest rain fell. Improvements in downstream discharges are 
expected to be short lived as upstream reservoirs remain below 

.Groundwater and Water Storage (Lakes/reservoirs):
Groundwater well readings showed some response with levels rising
over central and southern Maine, however many are still below 
normal. Northern and western Maine continue to see very low 
groundwater levels based on the few well stations in the area. In 
New Hampshire well levels remain below normal across the state 
despite improved soil moisture in southern and central counties. 

NOTE: Groundwater levels remain below normal for most of the
region, a continuation from the drought of 2020. Streamflows
likewise remain below normal for most of the area. Should another
dry period return, it is possible that drought conditions could
redevelop over areas that have seen recent improvements.

Headwater storage levels in area reservoirs are below long term
averages. Listed is information from July 29th. 

Androscoggin River-Reservoir storage is around 68.4% full, 16.4%
below the long-term average. Flow restrictions in the upper 
reservoirs remain in place.

Presumpscot River-Sebago Lake levels climbed slightly from
264.71 feet on June 30th to 264.83 feet on July 14.

Kennebec River-Reservoir storage at 79.7% full, 9.4% below the
long-term average.

.Soil Moisture:
Notable improvements were made in soil moisture levels across
southern and central portions of New Hampshire and Maine after
recent heavy rains. Based on various soil moisture analysis 
tools, it appears that these areas are seeing soil moistures 
nearer to normal, with worsening conditions to the north. Soil 
moisture levels remain well below normal across the D1 and D2 

Water Resources:
Dry wells have been reported in northern counties, notably in
Oxford and Franklin Counties. In both Maine and New Hampshire
several towns have instituted voluntary water restrictions, due
primarily from below normal groundwater levels. The South Berwick
Water District in Maine has issued emergency mandatory water use 
restrictions. Hydro operators are monitoring conditions and 
balancing needs of lake levels, hydroelectric power generation 
needs, and the discharges to maintain stream flow needs 

Wildfire conditions:
Maine Forest Service reports that recent wet conditions have
reduced the normal number of summertime wildfires. The rainy
conditions happening on weekends was a contributing factor as that
is when most wildfires occur. 

Agricultural Conditions:
Farmers without irrigation are seeing stressed vegetation within the
D1 and D2 zones. First-cut hay crop was good, but subsequent hay 
growth has been slow. Elsewhere improved soil moisture has 
improved vegetation.

The state of Maine has activated its Drought Task Force. In
response to escalated drought, the Maine Emergency Management
Agency has published an online survey for home owners to report
private wells running dry and opportunities for assistance: https

Over the next 2 weeks, the Climate Prediction Center indicates that
ridging over the northeast will favor moderate confidence for 
above normal temperatures in the 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks 
(Aug 10-Aug 14). This same pattern shows no increased confidence 
for above, below, or normal precipitation for much of the northern
U.S. The outlooks for August favor above normal temperatures and 
no strong signals on wetter or drier conditions. Meanwhile, the 
Atlantic hurricane season is well underway, and atmospheric and 
oceanic conditions remain conducive for an above-average hurricane
season, according to the annual mid-season update issued by 
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. 


This product will be updated Thursday September 2 or sooner if
drought conditions change significantly.


Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:
US Drought Monitor:
US Drought Information System:
NOAA Drought Page:
Northeast Regional Climate Center:
New York State Climate Office:

Additional water and river information:
US Geological Survey (USGS):
US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):


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
and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites,
state cooperative extension services, the USDA, USACE and USGS.


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

National Weather Service
1 Weather Lane
Gray ME 04039