New York Drought Information

Science Center Objects

New York Drought Information: definitions, information resources, maps, and tools


"Drought is a condition of moisture deficit sufficient to have an adverse effect on vegetation, animals, and man over a sizeable area."

(Warwick, R.A., 1975, Drought hazard in the United States: A research assessment: Boulder, Colorado, University of Colorado, Institute of Behavioral Science, Monograph no. NSF/RA/E-75/004, 199 p.)

Meteorological drought:

"A period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently prolonged for the lack of water to cause serious hydrologic imbalance in the affected area." (Huschke, R.E., ed., 1959, Glossary of meteorology: Boston, American Meteorological Society, 638 p.)

Agricultural drought:

"A climatic excursion involving a shortage of precipitation sufficient to adversely affect crop production or range production." (Rosenberg, N.J., ed., 1979, Drought in the Great Plains--Research on impacts and strategies: Proceedings of the Workshop on Research in Great Plains Drought Management Strategies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, March 26-28: Littleton, Colorado, Water Resources Publications, 225 p.)

Hydrologic drought:

"A period of below average water content in streams, reservoirs, ground-water aquifers, lakes and soils." (Yevjevich Vujica, Hall, W.A., and Salas, J.D, eds., 1977, Drought research needs, in Proceedings of the Conference on Drought Research Needs, December 12-15, 1977: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 276 p.)

Miscellaneous Definitions

Definition of a drought can be a complex issue, a collection of other definitions of drought follows. Note that particular definitions may not be appropriate for individual circumstances, and that some of the definitions may be quite location specific. 

Drought: Dryness due to lack of rain... An absolute drought is a period of at least 15 consecutive days to none of which is credited 0.01 inches of rain or more. A partial drought is a period of at least 29 consecutive days, the mean daily rainfall of which does not exceed 0.01 inches. A dry spell is a period of at least 15 consecutive days to none of which is credited 0.04 inches or more... The definitions of absolute drought anf partial drought were introduced in British Rainfall, p. 21, 1887, while that of dry spell was first used in British Rainfall, p. 15, 1919 [from Meteorological Glossary, Air Ministry, 3rd ed., London, 1944, p. 68.] [from Glossary of Geology and Related Sciences, American Geological Institute, Washington, D.C., 1957, p. 89.).



General Information on Droughts

Water Supply Paper 2375 - National Water Summary 1988-89--Floods and Droughts

Federal Agency Drought Information

Drought Information Centers


Hydrologic Conditions by New York State Drought Region

multicolored graph of 28-day average discharge

The Duration Hydrograph is a graphical presentation of recent daily streamflow (discharge)observed at an individual USGS streamgage (the black line), plotted over the long-term statisticsof streamflow for each day of the Hudson River Salt Front Data














Hudson River Salt Front Data

dot graph of max. daily location of salt front in Hudson River 1992-2012

Maximum daily location of Salt front in Hudson River 1992-2012(Public domain.)











Related Links

New York City Reservoir Levels

New York City Delaware River Basin Storage

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Drought Monitor

National Weather Service Northeast River Forecast Center (NERFC) Northeast Departures from Normal and Water Supply

National Weather Service Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC) Precipitation Departures Map

National Weather Service Ohio River Forecast Center (ORFC) Ohio River Valley Drought and Precipitation Information