Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
301 PM EDT Thu Aug 4 2022

...Severe Drought Conditions Expand to Coastal Maine and New Hampshire...

.Drought intensity and extent:
According to the August 3, 2022 release of the United States
Drought Monitor, 96% of the National Weather Service Weather (NWS)
Forecast Office Gray Maine (WFO GYX) County Warning Area (CWA) was
experiencing drought conditions. Approximately 18% of the area was
in severe drought focused along coastal New Hampshire and Maine.
The drought emerged from a a recent dry spell following the
winter`s snowfall deficit. The recent drying phase started in mid
June and has stressed ground cover and reduced surface water,
particularly in southern Maine and New Hampshire where close to a
million residents are in severe drought.

.Precipitation:
The 2022 water year has thus far experienced below normal
precipitation across much of the northeast. For most sections in
Maine and New Hampshire, winter failed to deliver the expected
amount of snowfall with snowpack were below normal by spring.
Most areas received near normal precipitation in the course of the
winter season, though it frequently fell as rain due to warm
temperatures. Overall, seasonal snowpack was 1 to 2 feet below
normal in New Hampshire, and 1 to 3 feet below normal in southern
and central Maine. Of note, the snowpack has been below normal for
most of the region for the past 3 winters adding a cumulative
impact over time. This season’s spring thaw arrived
approximately 2 to 4 weeks early for most areas, resulting in an
earlier than normal discharge along area waterways. The rest of
spring lacked the typical rain frequency resulting in below
average precipitation for most areas in April, May, and June, and
July.

The following table summarizes precipitation totals and departures
from normal across the region.


Period of Time
-Ending Aug 3Portland MEAugusta MEConcord NHManchester NH
30 Days1.28/-2.032.91/-0.163.02/-0.552.02/-1.22
60 Days3.52/-3.815.63/-1.355.67/-1.583.95/-3.20
90 Days4.52/-6.417.56/-2.678.25/-2.436.96/-3.59
Year to Date14.99/-7.3320.37/2.3918.51/-0.5815.86/-3.05
Water Year to Date 19.78/-6.9430.04/4.8022.92/-2.1919.98/-3.43

.Hydrologic Conditions:
On a regional level, 85% of our area streams and rivers were experiencing
below normal streamflow conditions, and of those roughly 25% were
experiencing much below normal streamflow conditions. All
mainstem rivers of the Connecticut, Merrimack, Androscoggin, and
Kennebec had below normal flows. Lake level reports indicated a
downward trend, but no impacts were observed. Reports from
reservoir cooperators indicate storage levels dropping, but
holding near normal summer pool guide curves.

Soil moisture was below normal and evaporation above normal for the
month of July according to NCEP’s Climate Prediction Center
products. The reduced soil moisture has triggered increased
irrigation. According to the National Agricultural Statistics
Service in New England, the New England regional topsoil moisture
supplies were 18 percent very short, 21 percent short, 58 percent
adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 14
percent very short, 22 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 1
percent surplus as of the week ending on August 1, 2022.

Groundwater levels vary seasonally with higher demand in the summertime
and fall as available precipitation is consumed by evapotranspiration
processes, and groundwater in storage flows into surface water. Current
observations show a more rapid rate of loss than normal due to limited
surface water indicative by reduced streamflows and lake levels. At the
time of this issuance, groundwater levels all showed a rapid decline. The
most notable declines were in southwest Maine in the coastal plains where
wells were reporting levels below the 10th percentile.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:
Drought impacts can range from agricultural, hydrological, and
socioeconomic, and are often difficult to quantify real-time. In
general, the impacts include increased irrigation for agriculture
and landscaping purposes, reduced streamflows for recreational
activities and less oxygen in waterways for fish, and drying of
leaf debris and other fire fuels. As the water table declines, dug
wells are likely to become stressed. Please report dry wells to
Maine Dry Well Survey. Water restrictions have been implemented
in multiple jurisdictions in Maine and New Hampshire. Please check
with local officials on any water restrictions in your area.


.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:
The best scenario for improved streamflows will be sustained cool
weather and well above-normal widespread precipitation, ideally
light in intensity for maximum ground absorption. The National
Climate Prediction Center however is not anticipating a strong
chance for either. The precipitation outlooks (August 3, 2022)
favors near normal rainfall chances for the rest the next 6 to 14
days and through the summer season. Temperature outlooks through
the mid August show a period of near to below normal temperatures.
The rest of summer favors above normal temperatures. Drought
conditions are expected to persist through at least the month of
August, with the potential for deteriorating conditions.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:
This product will be updated Thursday September 1 or sooner if
drought conditions change significantly.

.RELATED WEBSITES:

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

U.S. Drought Monitor: https://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ US Drought
Portal: https://drought.gov/ Climate Prediction Center (CPC):
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ Utah State Climate Center:
Additional water and river information: NERFC: www.weather.gov/nerfc
MEMA Maine Dry Well Survey: https://maine-dry-well-survey-maine.hub.arcgis.com/

.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
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:
Should you have any questions or comments about this drought statement,
please contact: National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office
Gray, ME. Email:gyx.skywarn@noaa.gov.

.Drought Category Reference:

D0 is Abnormally Dry and is the least intense indicator of drought
on a scale from D0 through D4. This drought level indicates that
a region may be entering or emerging from an actual drought.

D1 is Moderate Drought...Conditions that may be associated with D1
include some crop damage, increased fire risk, falling stream and
reservoir levels and some water shortages. May be thought of as
approximately the 5 to 10 year year drought or the 10 to 20
percent annual chance of occurrence.

D2 is Severe Drought...Crop or pasture damage is likely, fire risk
potentially high, along with low streamflows, water shortages and
possible restrictions. This can be thought of as approximately
the 10 to 20 year drought or the 5 to 10 percent annual chance of
occurrence.

D3 is Extreme Drought...Major crop and pasture losses and widespread
water shortages and restrictions. This can be thought of as
approximately the 20 to 50 year year drought or the 2 to 5 percent
annual chance of occurrence.

D4 is Exceptional Drought...Widespread crops and pasture losses,
water shortages and water emergencies. May be thought of as
approximately the 50 to 100 year year drought or the 1 to 2
percent annual chance of occurrence.

.CONTACT INFORMATION:

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

National Weather Service
1 Weather Lane
Gray ME 04039
Phone...207-688-3216

$$


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