For Sylvia Reeves, timing is everything! Sylvia joined NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) as the Regional Drought Information Coordinator for the Northeast Regional Drought Early Warning System (NE-DEWS) at the beginning of the summer, just as the region was tipping into serious drought. The NE-DEWS provides weekly updates to partners and stakeholders on the status of the drought in New York and New England. Sylvia is tracking state responses and impacts as well.
Sylvia has worked to strengthen drought resilience across the region by working closely with partners to build on, support, and strengthen the Northeast Drought Early Warning System. She is based at the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University and has been working closely with the Climate Center, NOAA's Regional Climate Services Director for the Eastern Region, and climate service providers throughout the region including the Northeast Climate Hub. One of the key conduits for drought information is the NE DEWS Google Group. It consists of regional experts on weather, climate, agriculture, water and forestry professionals (including the Hub) and feeds drought condition reports to the NRCC and to other national databases like the U.S. Drought Monitor. This collaboration is unique among the DEWS regions and a highly valued network for assessment and reporting.
By late September over 70% of the Northeast was experiencing drought. “Extreme Drought” (D3) was present in one or more counties in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The D3 designation is rare for the Northeast and triggered several USDA drought-assistance programs, including the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP). See the Northeast DEWS dashboard for the latest on drought conditions in the Northeast.