Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4
AXUS71 KGYX 091604

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
1204 PM EDT Fri Sep 9 2022

...September Rains Help Ease Drought Conditions…

.Drought intensity and extent:
Much needed precipitation occurred across the Hydrologic Service Area (HSA) from late August
through September 8th. On Labor Day, a slow moving frontal boundary brought widespread rainfall
where much of the area received betweenone and three inches of rainfall. Though totals varied
depending on location, the New Hampshire Lakes Region and portions of the Midcoast largely missed
out on this soaking rain.  Despite the improvement to drought conditions, there remains a notable
deficit in ground water levels and 1 meter soil moistures. If the weather pattern once again
favors drier than normal conditions, then it is possible the area could quickly slide back into a
severe drought. At this time, the outlooks favor near normal rainfall and slightly above normal
temperatures going into September.

According to the September 6th, 2022 release of the United States Drought Monitor, 34% of the
National Weather Service Weather (NWS) Forecast Office Gray Maine (WFO GYX) County Warning Area
(CWA) was experiencing drought conditions. Roughly 18% of the area was under  moderate drought
conditions, and another 15% of the area was in severe drought focusing along Maine’s midcoast
and southern New Hampshire. Other areas remain abnormally dry but are no longer considered in drought.

Though the month of August started dry and hot, a pattern change in the middle of the month provided
some larger soaking rains in our area with cooler temperatures. This change in pattern provided the
opportunity for somewhat of a catch up on monthly and annual precipitation totals. Most areas this
August recieved slightly above average precipitation, despite below normal precipitation for much of
the summer.  From June 1st to September 8th, overall precipitation amounts range from roughly a 1 inch
surplus to a 6 inch deficit. Southern New Hampshire’s overall summer precipitation amounts were
between 2 and 6 inches below normal. Coastal Maine’s overall summer precipitation amounts ranged from
1 to 4 inches below normal.

Period of Time
-Ending September 8th:        Portland ME         Augusta ME         Concord NH        Manchester NH
30 Days...(Aug 10-Sept 8)......6.76/+3.35         3.66/+0.26         4.76/+1.41         3.78/+0.59
60 Days..(July 11-Sept 8)......7.92/+1.16         6.73/+0.25         7.65/+0.63         5.29/-1.20
90 Days..(June 11-Sept 8)......9.47/-1.11         8.27/-1.96         9.5/-1.11          6.55/-3.70
Year to Date..................26.80/-4.44        24.37/-2.37        28.12/+0.49        23.86/-3.08
Water Year to Date (Oct)......41.19/-4.05        34.04/-4.78        38.08/-1.12        34.13/-3.46

.Hydrologic conditions:
The USGS 7-Day streamflows were near to above normal for most mainstem rivers in the region due to
recent rains. The monthly average streamflows in August ranked in the lower percentiles with several
in the 10th to 20th percentiles. This recent increase is expected to decline with an upcoming spell
of drier weather, however the improvements to groundwater levels will likely prevent the extremely
low flows of August from re-emerging.

Surface soil moisture improved in the last week from widespread rainfall around Labor Day.
The most notable improvements occurred in the surface soil and root zone moisture percentiles,
with the most notable improvement was in southern Maine. The groundwater percentiles highlight
the continued drought in southern New Hampshire and portions of southern Maine, based on the NASA
GRACE observations from September 6th. Groundwater wells show some increase over the week around
Labor Day, but many in the drought stricken areas remain below normal.

The recent rain recharged topsoils resulting in improvements to the stressed vegetation and crops.
For this reason, the severe drought status has been downgraded to moderate drought across some
portions of Maine and New Hampshire.

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. During
the summer months, elevated humidity and reduced wind speeds are generally not conducive to
fire initiation and spread. However, the transition into fall could support a higher fire
potential if drought conditions worsen.  As the water table declines, dug wells are likely
to become stressed. Please report dry wells to the Maine Dry Well Survey or the New Hampshire
DES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau.

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. This weather pattern occurs often
in the fall when frontal boundaries or coastal systems provide frequent rainfall occurrences with light
to moderate intensity. Looking at the short term, the official 7 day forecast favors dry conditions this
weekend followed by a brief wet pattern early next week. The 6 to 14 day outlooks by the National Climate
Prediction Center are indicating a near normal precipitation and above normal temperatures (Sep 14-18, 2022).

.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.


This product will be updated Friday October 7 or sooner if
drought conditions change significantly.


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:
New York State Climate Office:

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


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


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.