Rare New England Drought Likely to End

Tropical Upper Troposphere Trough Continues to Protect Western North Atlantic Basin from Tropical Activity
08/09/2022, 10:19 am EDT
Update On SSTA Regions In The North Atlantic Basin
08/16/2022, 9:21 am EDT
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Fig. 1: NOAA U.S. Drought Monitor identifies D2 Severe Drought across east/southeast New England.

Discussion: The U.S. Drought Monitor identifies rare severe drought across east and southeast New England (Fig. 1). The drought has strengthened during mid-summer due to limited rainfall and periods of extreme heat. However, seasonal forecasts for late summer/autumn 2022 are wetter than normal. The onset of the wetter pattern ahead was initiated by thunderstorms associated with a recent cold front ending a harsh heat wave. More rain is on the way! ECMWF indicates potential for several and up to 5+ inches of rain early to middle of next week (Fig. 2). During late summer drought regimes typically end due to influence of inland-shifting tropical cyclones. However, that’s not the case next week in New England. A conventional storm forming in the southeast Ohio Valley next Monday morning drifts slowly to the New Jersey coast Tuesday morning and causes a veil of heavy rain to spread across the northern Mid-Atlantic States and the southern half of New England. The storm may stall in southern New England into mid-next week allowing the rainfall to linger. The event is the first of others likely to move across New England into the autumn season.

Fig. 2: A storm system forecast by ECMWF to bring excessive rainfall to New England early to middle of next week will ease the current drought condition.