Current Northeast Drought Conditions

Dry Conditions Remain Across the Northeast | July 30, 2020

The latest Drought Monitor published July 30th shows dry conditions across the Northeast mostly unchanged from the previous week. Parts of southwest Pennsylvania, coastal Massachusetts, and Long Island are newly classified as in “moderate drought” (D1). Only parts of Aroostook County in northern Maine and St. Lawrence County in northwest New York remain in “severe drought” (D2), now for the fourth week in a row. If severe drought (D2) conditions remain for 8 consecutive weeks in a county or increase to “extreme drought” (D3), USDA drought assistance programs such as the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Forage Program, automatically become available. Official disaster declarations can also make program assistance available.

Over the last week, thunderstorms brought above-normal rain to central Maine, West Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey and across a strip from central New York through Massachusetts. However, rainfall for the last week was less than a quarter of normal in the hard hit areas in northwest New York and northern Maine. Rainfall was also short across a large area of southeast New York and northeast Pennsylvania and east through Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Rainfall map

Drought Resistant Practices

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers cost sharing for practices that help farmers increase resilience to drought. These include Mulching, Residue and Tillage Management, Cover Crop, and Microirrigation.

View Practices

For more on USDA drought assistance, see our page on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

Tools/Resources for agricultural drought

The National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides maps of rainfall or rainfall departure across the U.S. for daily or longer time periods. These maps can be zoomed down to below the county level. Rainfall across most of the region was below normal for the week ending 7/30/2020 except for central New York and most of Massachusetts and West Virginia.

Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Water Deficit Calculator provides water deficit predictions for any locality in the Northeast region. The tool enables producers to track changes in soil water deficits from the onset of the growing season through the present, and it also provides a three-day outlook based on current weather forecasts. Using this information, farmers can determine the amount of water that would need to be added to overcome soil water deficits according to the types of soils in their region and the types of crops that they are growing.

Soils, Crops, and Pastures

Across the region, top soil moisture has generally shown improvement since last week. A notable exception is in Connecticut and Rhode Island where moisture is short over most or all of each state. As of July 26th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across about half of Delaware, New York, and Maine, and about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Pasture conditions have improved since earlier in the season and are fair-good across most of the region. However, in Connecticut and Rhode Island, pasture conditions have worsened considerably. In Connecticut 86% of pasture is rated poor (down from 15% last week) and 100% are rated poor in Rhode Island.

Outlook

There is a good chance that tropical moisture from Isaias will reach parts of the region by early next week. In fact, quantitative precipitation forecasts issued by NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center suggest that the Delmarva Peninsula, along with portions of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, extreme southeastern New York, and southern Connecticut could see upwards of five inches of rain over the next seven days. Long-range outlooks also support a trend towards wetter conditions, as the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day outlook (issued on July 29th and valid from August 4 through August 8) suggests a higher chance of above-normal rainfall across the Northeast. However, the longer range 8-14 day outlook favors a return to below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures in the region.

Additional regional outlooks

  • The Northeast Regional Climate Center offers a three month precipitation departure map. This map represents ACIS climate data interpolated to a 5km by 5km grid. These maps are created at 7:00 am on the 3rd day after the end of each month and updated several times during the course of the month as additional data become available.

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  • The NOAA CPC offers maps on soil moisture anomaly changes nationally for daily, monthly and seasonal ranges.

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Northeast drought conditions archive

  • The latest Drought Monitor published July 23rd shows dry conditions unchanged from the previous week in New York and New England, but worsening conditions in central-southwestern Pennsylvania, and western parts of Maryland and West Virginia. Some rainfall and cooler conditions have allowed crops and pasture in many places to recover. About 24% of the region (up slightly from last week) remains classified as in “moderate drought” (D1) and another 44% as “abnormally dry” (D0). Far northern Maine and a section of Northern New York remain for the third week in “severe drought” (D2). If severe drought (D2) conditions remain for 8 consecutive weeks in a county or increase to “extreme drought” (D3), USDA drought assistance programs such as the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Forage Program, automatically become available. Official disaster declarations can also make program assistance available.

    Drought Resistant Practices

    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offers cost sharing for practices that help farmers increase resilience to drought. These include Mulching, Residue and Tillage Management, Cover Crop, and Microirrigation.

    View Practices

    For more on USDA drought assistance, see our page on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

    Tools/Resources for agricultural drought

    The National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides maps of rainfall or rainfall departure across the U.S. for daily or longer time periods. These maps can be zoomed down to below the county level. Rainfall across most of the region was below normal for the week ending 7/23/2020 except for central New York and most of Massachusetts and West Virginia.

    Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Water Deficit Calculator provides water deficit predictions for any locality in the Northeast region. The tool enables producers to track changes in soil water deficits from the onset of the growing season through the present, and it also provides a three-day outlook based on current weather forecasts. Using this information, farmers can determine the amount of water that would need to be added to overcome soil water deficits according to the types of soils in their region and the types of crops that they are growing.

    Soils, Crops, and Pastures

    Across the region, soils remain drier than normal for this time of year. As of July 19th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 70% of Pennsylvania (up from 54% last week), Rhode Island (up from 40%), and New Hampshire (down from 82%). Moisture levels improved in Maine and New York. The recent rains have continued to stabilize crops and pasture in northern New York and New England. However, for July 19th, pasture conditions have worsened in other parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia where around 25% were rated poor or very poor. By contrast 79% of pastures in New Jersey and Vermont are now rated good to excellent.

    Outlook

    The NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day outlook (issued on July 22nd and valid from July 28 through August 1) suggests a slightly higher chance of below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures across the Northeast states. The longer range 8-14 day outlook also favors below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures in the region.

  • Rains, especially those associated with tropical storm Fay, helped ease drought across parts of the Northeast. The latest Drought Monitor published July 16th shows improvement from the previous week, especially in Delaware, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and western New York. About 43% of the region is classified “abnormally dry” (D0), including much of New York and Pennsylvania as well as parts of West Virginia. The area in the Northeast classified as “moderate drought” (D1) has declined slightly and covers about 23% of the region. This includes Northern Maine, southern New Hampshire and Vermont, western Massachusetts and eastern New York. Far northern Maine and a section of Northern New York remain for the second week in “severe drought” (D2). If severe drought (D2) conditions remain for 8 consecutive weeks in a county or increase to “extreme drought” (D3), USDA drought assistance programs such as the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Forage Program, automatically become available. Official disaster declarations can also make program assistance available.

    For more on USDA drought assistance, see our page on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

    Soils, Crops, and Pasture

    Across the region, soils remain drier than normal for this time of year. However, moisture levels generally improved over the previous week (especially in areas visited by Fay). As of July 12th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 81% of New Hampshire (down from 82% the previous week) and 70% of Maine (down from 76%). Soil moisture is also short or very short across 61% of New York (up from 53%) and 54% of Pennsylvania (unchanged). The recent rains have helped stabilize crops and pasture in the majority of the region. For July 12th, 44% of New Hampshire pastures and 40% of Maine pastures were rated poor or very poor but conditions were generally fair to good elsewhere.

    Outlook

    The NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day outlook (issued on July 16th and valid from July 22nd through July 26th) suggests a slightly higher chance of above-normal rainfall across the Northeast states. The longer range 8-14 day outlook is for normal rainfall in the region. There is a higher chance of above-normal temperatures across the region, especially over the next 6-10 days. These high temperatures will bring back higher evaporative demands on crops, pasture, and forests.

    Tools/Resources for agricultural drought

    The National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service provides maps of rainfall or rainfall departure across the U.S. for daily or longer time periods. These maps can be zoomed down to the county level. In the map below, rainfall is shown for the week ending 7/17/2020. Tropical storm Fay brought 2-4” of rain to much of Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Meanwhile, Northern Maine received little additional moisture.

    rainfall map

    Soil moisture

    The soil water deficit is an important metric that indicates how much water should be added to soils to ameliorate plant water stresses that develop during drought conditions. In short, soil water deficit is the difference between the amount of water a soil can hold – often referred to as field capacity – and the amount of water currently stored in the soil. The impacts that soil water deficits have on plants vary as a function of soil texture (e.g., the proportion of sand, silt and clay in a given soil) and plant type. While soil moisture monitoring networks represent one way that farmers can keep tabs on soil water deficits, most farmers do not have such monitoring capabilities in place. Fortunately, there are simple water accounting models that can used to predict soil water deficits for different soil conditions and crop types. Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Water Deficit Calculator is one such tool, and it provides water deficit predictions for any zip code in the Northeast region. The tool enables farmers to track changes in soil water deficits from the onset of the growing season through the present, and it also provides a three-day outlook based on current weather forecasts. Using this information, farmers can determine the amount of water that would need to be added to overcome soil water deficits according to the types of soils in their region and the types of crops that they are growing.

    Pasture Management

    With pasture conditions below normal in the region, many farmers have found rotational grazing helpful. A rotational stocking system controls the timing and intensity of grazing by rotating animals among paddocks, and gives the pastures time for rest and regrowth. Managing plant communities through rotational stocking can improve forage root structure and depth. Better root structure means healthier plants, greater water infiltration, and much less susceptibility to drought.

    Well-managed pastures that allow forage to rest and recover to a taller height are more resistant to drought. Furthermore, taller grass shades the ground, making it cooler and thereby reducing water loss from evaporation and transpiration. Taller grass also has longer roots that are able to access water deeper into the ground. Livestock managers can hold off on clipping pastures to allow vegetation to grow taller during periods of drought.

    Agroforestry at Angus Glen Clovercrest Farm Case Study Dickinson College Farm's Silvopasture

    This practice also promotes soil health, carbon sequestration, and maintains a farm’s environmental resources.

    Managing Grazing to Improve Climate Resilience
  • Rains helped ease drought across parts of New England, but abnormally dry conditions have expanded elsewhere in the Northeast. The latest Drought Monitor published July 9th shows that about half the region is classified “abnormally dry” (D0), now including most of New York and Pennsylvania as well as much of the Delmarva peninsula. The area in the Northeast classified as “moderate drought” (D1) covers about 25% of the region and has expanded across Maine and remains in southern New Hampshire and Vermont, western Massachusetts and eastern New York. Substantial rain failed to reach northern Maine, and this area (and a section of Northern New York) are now classified as in “severe drought” (D2). If severe drought (D2) conditions remain for 8 consecutive weeks in a county or increase to “extreme drought” (D3), USDA drought assistance programs such as the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Forage Program, automatically become available. Official disaster declarations can also make program resources available.

    For more on USDA drought assistance, see our page on the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

    Soils, Crops, and Pasture

    In the severe drought (D2) areas, crops and pasture are stressed. For example, the 7/9/20 New York State field crops call noted, “Northern NY/St. Lawrence/Clinton Counties were very dry! All corn is rolled tight (has been for 2 weeks), patches turning bluish grey in the D2 areas, worried corn won’t survive.”

    Across the region, soils remain drier than normal for this time of year. Moisture levels improved in the New England states over the previous week (especially in Massachusetts and Rhode Island) but have continued to decline across the mid-Atlantic, especially in Maryland and Delaware. As of July 6th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 82% of New Hampshire (down from 89%) and 76% of Maine (down from 86%). Soil moisture is now short or very short across 62% of Delaware, 59% of New Jersey, 57% of Maryland, 54% of Pennsylvania and 53% of New York. Drier than normal conditions now stretch from the Northeast across the Midwest. The recent rains have helped stabilize crops and pasture in the majority of the region. For July 6th, 52% of New Hampshire pastures and 33% of Maine pastures were rated poor or very poor but conditions were generally fair to good elsewhere.

    Outlook

    The National Hurricane Center has noted that a tropical system may bring heavy rain to coastal areas in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the next few days but with reduced rainfall inland. Looking further ahead, both the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 7-10 day outlook and 8-14 day outlook (issued on July 8th and valid from July 14th through July 22th) suggests a slightly higher chance of continued below-normal rainfall across the Northeast states. There is a stronger possibility of above-normal temperatures across the region with highest odds of above-normal temperatures in the already driest areas of the region. These high temperatures will continue the high evaporative demands on crops, pasture, and forests. Higher than normal temperatures in the late spring and summer have intensified drought in the Northeast and brought about “flash drought” conditions.

    temperatures across the region with highest odds of above-normal temperatures in the already driest areas of the region. These high temperatures will continue the high evaporative demands on crops, pasture, and forests. Higher than normal temperatures in the late spring and summer have intensified drought in the Northeast and brought about “flash drought” conditions.

    Flash drought

    Drought develops when moisture evaporating from plants and soil exceeds rainfall for a period of time. According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center, June rainfall in the Northeast was well below normal. The low June rainfall this year was coupled with well above-average temperatures and low humidity from late May through late June. High temperatures and low humidity dramatically increase soil evaporation and plant water use, causing drought conditions to quickly worsen. This is sometimes called a “flash drought” and doesn’t occur often in the Northeast but it did this year. The extremely high evaporative demand for the Northeast early in the season can be seen in the map below of the “Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)” produced by the NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Laboratory. More recently evaporation has returned to typical July levels because the humidity has gone back up.

    EDDI Northeast June 25

    Tools/Resources for agricultural drought

    The soil water deficit is an important metric that indicates how much water should be added to soils to remove plant water stresses that develop during drought conditions. In short, soil water deficit is the difference between the amount of water a soil can hold – often referred to as field capacity – and the amount of water currently stored in the soil. The impacts that soil water deficits have on plants vary as a function of soil texture (e.g., the proportion of sand, silt and clay in a given soil) and plant type. Soil moisture monitoring is one way that farmers can keep tabs on soil water deficits, but most farmers do not have such monitoring capabilities in place. Fortunately, there are simple water accounting models that can be used to predict soil water deficits for different soil conditions and crop types. Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Water Deficit Calculator is one such tool, and it provides water deficit predictions for any zip code in the Northeast region. It is especially useful during periods of “flash droughts” as it provides farmers the ability to plan water applications, with the goal of minimizing plant stress while maximizing water conservation. This tool can be tailored to specific farm needs, including location, soil type and broad crop types. It provides a historic record of water needs and a prediction of needs for the next month.

    What are some actions farmers can take to deal with drought?

    In the short term, farmers can irrigate. If producers are irrigating but not monitoring soil moisture, they may find that using low-cost moisture sensors can improve results and lower costs. They can also retain what little moisture is in the soil by covering bare soil with mulch or other organic matter. By keeping the soil covered, soil evaporation can be controlled. Mulch also keeps soil cooler, which decreases water loss through plant transpiration. Well-managed pastures that allow forage to rest and recover to a taller height are more resistant to drought. Furthermore, taller grass shades the ground, making it cooler and thereby reducing water loss from evaporation and transpiration. Taller grass also has longer roots that are able to access water deeper into the ground. Livestock managers can hold off on clipping pastures to allow vegetation to grow taller during periods of drought.

    There are also long term changes that farmers can think about to build resiliency to drought. For instance, leaving last year’s plant residue in the field covers the soil and reduces water loss from evaporation and transpiration while building soil organic matter. This also enables the soil to retain more moisture. Cover crops keep the soil covered and therefore cooler while increasing organic matter in the soil. One percent of organic matter in soil can hold 25,000 gallons of water per acre. Maintaining higher amounts of organic matter in the soil further enhances the soil’s water holding capacity. Cover crops can be interseeded or seeded after the cash crop is harvested.

  • Moderate to heavy rains during the last few days of June eased dry conditions across much of New England, eastern New York, and southeastern parts of Canada. However, substantial rain failed to reach northern Maine, and many areas remain short on moisture. The area in the Northeast classified as “D1-moderate drought” has declined in the latest Drought Monitor published July 2nd.

    Flash drought

    The dry conditions in the Northeast developed unusually quickly this year because of a combination of low rainfall, well above-average temperatures, and low humidity from late May through most of June. High temperatures and low humidity dramatically increase soil evaporation and plant water use, causing drought conditions to worsen quickly. This is sometimes called a “flash drought” and doesn’t occur often in the Northeast. The unusually high evaporative demand for the Northeast is best seen in the June "Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)" produced by the NOAA/ESRL Physical Sciences Laboratory.

    EDDI Northeast June 25

    The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are in drought. The map uses five classifications: abnormally dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: moderate (D1), severe (D2), extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4). The USDA uses the drought monitor to trigger disaster declarations and eligibility for low-interest loans and assistance programs.

    Soils and Pasture

    The latest measurements of soil moisture came before the end-of-month rain. Although recent rain has helped, soils in New England remain dryer than normal for this time of year. As of June 28th (before some of the heaviest rains), the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 89% of New Hampshire (up from 84%), 86% of Maine (down from 88%), and 52% of Vermont (up from 48%). Soils were also unusually dry across more than 40% of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. These numbers are likely much improved except in the northern half of Maine. The dry conditions in June have affected crops and pasture. For June 28th, 42% of Maine pastures were rated poor or very poor with a similar rating for 31% of New Hampshire, both up by 4%.

    The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

    Outlook

    Looking ahead, both the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 6-10 day outlook and 8-14 day outlook (issued on July 1st and valid from July 9th through July 15th) suggests a slightly higher chance of continued below-normal rainfall across the Northeast states. There is a stronger possibility of above-normal temperatures across the region with highest odds of above-normal temperatures in the already driest areas of the region. These high temperatures will return the high evaporative demands on crops, pasture, and forests.

  • New England, eastern New York, and southeastern parts of Canada have continued to be short on rain. Many areas that were classified as “drier than normal” last week were upgraded to “D1-moderate drought” in the latest Drought Monitor published June 25th. This is the largest extent of moderate drought in this region since late summer 2016. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are in drought. The map uses five classifications: abnormally dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought: moderate (D1), severe (D2), extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4). The USDA uses the drought monitor to trigger disaster declarations and eligibility for low-interest loans and assistance programs.

    Soils have continued to dry with the sunshine and above-average temperatures. As of June 21st, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 100% of Connecticut (up from 71% last week), 88% of Maine (up from 32%), 84% of New Hampshire (up from 64%), and 48% of Vermont (down from 58%). Soils are also unusually dry across about a third of New York and Pennsylvania. The dry conditions are affecting crops and pasture. For June 21st, 38% of Maine pastures are rated poor or very poor with a similar rating for 27% of New Hampshire and 20% of Massachusetts pastures.

    The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and Northeast Regional Climate Center have set up a New England and New York Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) “Dashboard” which highlights the rainfall shortage, low stream and river flows, and other aspects of the current NE drought.

    Looking ahead, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 8-14 day outlook (issued on June 24th and valid from July 2nd through July 8th) suggests a slightly higher chance of continued below-normal rainfall across the Northeast states. There is a stronger possibility of above-normal temperatures across the region with highest odds of above-normal temperatures in the already driest areas of the region. These high temperatures will continue the high evaporative demands on crops and pasture.

  • Conditions have continued to be drier than normal in much of New England and northeastern New York. Parts of southern Pennsylvania and the Delmarva Peninsula have also been drier than normal. These areas are all classified as “D0 Abnormally Dry” in the latest Drought Monitor published June 18th. With the long days of June, evapotranspiration is at its highest so soils are continuing to dry. In southern New Hampshire and Vermont, western Massachusetts, Central Maine, and northeastern New York conditions may soon move to “D1 Moderate Drought” without more rain. Streamflow conditions show that these regions are already experiencing hydrological drought. This means unusually low stream and river flows for this time of year.

    As of June 14th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 71% of Connecticut, 64% of New Hampshire, 58% of Vermont, and 32% of Maine. Moreover, monthly and seasonal changes in soil moisture reported by NOAA still show persistent downward trends over most of the Northeast. Some of the strongest moisture declines (on the order of 40%) have occurred in New Hampshire. Precipitation from March to May over much of New England, New York, and the Delmarva Peninsula was generally one to three inches below normal. The trend of below normal precipitation has continued into the month of June.

    Looking ahead, there might be some good news. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 8-14 day outlook for June 26th through July 2nd suggests a slightly higher chance of above-normal rainfall across the Northeast states. However, there is also a greater chance of above-normal temperatures across the region (except in West Virginia). The highest odds of above-normal temperatures is in the already driest parts of the region. These high temperatures will continue the high evaporative demands on crops and pasture.

  • Conditions have been drier than normal in much of New England and northeastern New York. Parts of southern Pennsylvania and the Delmarva Peninsula have also been drier than normal. These areas are all classified as “D0 Abnormally Dry” in the latest Drought Monitor published June 11th. With the long days of June ahead, evapotranspiration is at its highest so soils are drying rapidly. In central Maine, southern New Hampshire, western Massachusetts, and northeastern New York conditions may rapidly move to “D1 Moderate Drought” without more rain. Streamflow conditions indicate that these regions are already experiencing hydrological drought (unusually low stream and river flows for this time of year).

    As of June 7th, the USDA reports dry soils (topsoil moisture short or very short) across 50% of NH, 38% of Maine, and 25% of DE and RI. Moreover, monthly and seasonal changes in soil moisture reported by NOAA show persistent downward trends over most of the Northeast, with some of the strongest moisture declines (on the order of 40-60%) occurring in northern NY. Indeed, precipitation from March to May over much of New England, New York, and the Delmarva Peninsula has generally been one to three inches below normal, and this trend of below normal precipitation has continued into the month of June. Looking ahead, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) 8-14 day outlook (issued on June 11th and valid from June 19th through June 25th) suggests near-normal precipitation for interior sections of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states, with higher odds of above-normal precipitation along a portion of the Atlantic seaboard from northern Virginia to southern Massachusetts.