Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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000 AXUS71 KGYX 161542 DGTGYX MEC007-017-025-NHC007-231545- Drought Information Statement National Weather Service Gray ME 1142 AM EDT Thu Sep 16 2021 ...DROUGHT IMPROVES BUT REMAINS ACROSS PORTIONS OF MAINE AND NEW HAMPSHIRE... .SYNOPSIS: September brought some relief to drought stricken portions of Maine and New Hampshire. The month began with the remnants of Hurricane Ida moving into the northeast on the 2nd. Maine and New Hampshire were on the periphery of the storm center, with the heaviest rainfall falling near Long Island. However many southern counties received an inch or more rainfall before the storm moved offshore. Additional periods of rainfall during the month have gradually improved ground conditions and helped slowly reduce the footprint of the drought. Looking forward, the area will transition out of the growing season and into fall. The impacts from drought are often less notable during the fall season due to the lesser impacts on agriculture, however reservoir and ground water reductions will likely continue. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) suggests near to below normal rainfall going into the fall months. .Drought intensity and extent: Here is a breakdown of the current U.S. Drought Monitor across western Maine and New Hampshire issued on September 14 2021. The drought conditions across Maine showed improvement with a nearly 40% reduction in areas D1 or worse. The areas in severe drought (D2) dropped from 9% last week to just under 5% this week. Approximately 28% of the state remains in moderate drought (D1), and 23% in abnormally dry (D0). Currently 43.8% of the area is removed from any drought designations, which accounts for nearly 80% of the state`s residents. Geographically the areas impacted most by drought are in the headwaters of the major watersheds in the region including the Kennebec, Androscoggin, and Penobscot Rivers. In New Hampshire, less than 1% of the state is in a severe drought (D2) in far eastern Coos County. The moderate drought conditions (D1) across the remainder of northern New Hampshire has been reduced to 6%, focused again across Coos County. The abnormally dry (D0) remains across central counties including the White Mountains region remaining around 19% areal coverage. When broken down by population, only about 4% of residents live in the drought stricken areas. .PRECIPITATION: Rainfall during the first half of September rainfall was above normal for most of the region, with the exception of northern New Hampshire and northwest Maine where moderate and severe drought conditions linger. Southern New Hampshire and coastal Maine saw above normal rainfall. ________________________________________________________________ THE FOLLOWING TABLE SUMMARIZES MONTHLY PRECIPITATION AND DEFICITS. RAINFALL (INCHES)/DEPARTURE FROM 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 AUGUST 2.19/-1.38 1.12/-2.29 3.36/-0.27 5.11/+3.34 SEPTEMBER*3.20/+1.602.29/+0.583.47/+1.904.81/+3.17 TOTALS 29.45/-2.5021.96/-5.6133.07/+4.7532.95/+5.29 ________________________________________________________________ *Through September 14 .HYDROLOGIC CONDITIONS: The stream and groundwater networks maintained by the United States Geological Survey were used in this report. Groundwater and streamflow levels reach their annual minimum in September based on climatology, a reflection of the increased evaporation and vegetation use during the warmer months. The expectation is that the current low ground and surface water levels will stabilize or steadily improve next month if normal rainfall is observed. .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 normal. For New Hampshire, the Connecticut River is showing below average flows from the Sugar River confluence northward. Downstream of this point, flows are running above average. Overall rivers in southern New Hampshire are running well above normal, in central New Hampshire they are near normal, and in northern portions of the state they remain at or below the 30th percentile. .Groundwater and Water Storage (Lakes/reservoirs): Groundwater well readings showed some response with levels rising over central and southern Maine, however many are still well 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 northern part of the state, but wells in the southern portions of the state are running above average. Some areas in bedrock can experience slower recharge of groundwater with slower response times. NOTE: Groundwater levels remain below normal for most of the region, a continuation from the drought of 2020. .Soil Moisture: Soil moisture levels showed some improvement across the region when viewed over the last 7 and 30 days. The evaporative stress has dropped significantly since August with cooler and more seasonable temperatures returning. Areas in drought continue to see below normal soil moisture levels. As the growing season winds down, and so does evaporation, soil moistures are expected to increase through fall if the area receives normal rainfall. .SUMMARY OF IMPACTS: 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. Hydro operators are monitoring conditions and balancing needs of lake levels, hydroelectric power generation needs, and the discharges to maintain stream flow needs downstream. Wildfire conditions: Maine Forest Service reports that recent wet conditions have reduced the wildfire risks. The rainy conditions happening on weekends was a contributing factor as that is when most wildfires occur. Agricultural Conditions: The USDA Farm Service Agency has received a Secretarial Disaster Designation due to 8 weeks of continued severe drought conditions in Maine. Refer to the USDA of Maine for more information. .DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS: 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://maine- dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/. .LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK: Over the next 2 weeks, the Climate Prediction Center indicates that ridging over the northeast will favor high confidence for above normal temperatures in the 6-10 day period (Sep 21-25). This same pattern favors below normal precipitation for much of New England. The outlooks for October favor above normal temperatures and no strong signals on wetter or drier conditions. A transition from ENSO neutral to La Nina is also favored for this winter, which can influence U.S. weather patterns and subsequent precipitation. .NEXT ISSUANCE DATE: This product will be updated Thursday October 14 or sooner if drought conditions change significantly. .RELATED WEB SITES: Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at the following web addresses: US Drought Monitor: https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu US Drought Information System: https://www.drought.gov NOAA Drought Page: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought Northeast Regional Climate Center: http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu New York State Climate Office: http://nysc.eas.cornell.edu Additional water and river information: NWS: https://water.weather.gov OWP: https://water.noaa.gov US Geological Survey (USGS): https://water.usgs.gov US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE): https://www.usace.army.mil .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 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. .CONTACT INFORMATION: If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information Statement, please contact: sarah.jamison@noaa.gov National Weather Service 1 Weather Lane Gray ME 04039 Phone...207-688-3216 $$

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