Drought conditions in Maine were extreme in the summer and fall of 2020. According to WGME’s meteorologist, Matt Hoenig, there was a 10+ inch deficit of rainfall last year. Additionally, the dry spell carried into 2021 due to the below-normal snowfall this past winter.
On July 6, 2021, the National Drought Mitigation Center deemed 100% of Maine to be abnormally dry with 70.4% of Maine experiencing moderate drought, and 20.9% facing severe drought conditions. Our state’s longest drought lasted 110 weeks beginning June 19, 2001 and ending on July 22, 2003. Maine’s most intense dry spell occurred during the week of January 8, 2002, when 61.67% of Maine encountered an extreme drought.
Heavy amounts of rainfall from Tropical Storm Elsa soaked Maine on Friday, July 9,2021 which many were anticipating would help to quell the dry conditions here. Luckily escaping serious damage, the storm provided a much needed 4” of rain to portions of the state. Nonetheless, drought conditions continue in a good part of Maine, according to meteorologist, Chris Kimble at the National Weather Service in Gray. Kimble stated, “It rained and drained for the most part.” Even with Elsa’s heavy rains, Kimble said that the southern and western two-thirds of the state continue to endure moderate drought while the northern third, including the mountains and lake regions, still confront severe drought conditions. Maine is still approximately 5” below normal for rainfall amounts year-to-date.
You can monitor drought conditions in Maine at https://www.drought.gov/states/maine.