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Northeast Drought Early Warning Update: October 23, 2020

Document Author
Document Date
Document Type
Drought Status Update
Document Description

This drought early warning update was originally sent via email to the Northeast DEWS email list.

Improvement this week but drought conditions still persist. 

This Drought Early Warning Update is issued in partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to communicate concern for drought expansion and intensification within the Northeast U.S. based on recent conditions and the forecasts and outlooks. NIDIS and its partners will issue future Drought Early Warning Updates as conditions evolve. 

This covers the following states in the Northeast U.S.: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.

For more details, see the Northeast Drought Early Warning System Dashboard.

Key Points 

  • Rain relief was fairly widespread in New England resulting in the reduction of drought intensity and coverage.
  • Extreme Drought (D3) remained in southwest Maine, southeast New Hampshire, southeast Rhode Island, and southeast Massachusetts.
  • Severe Drought (D2), Moderate Drought (D1), and Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions covered most of the rest of New York and New England.

State Reported Impacts


A new declaration from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue covers 14 of the state's 16 counties.


Federal disaster declaration will help farmers.

Hartford Courant 10/17/20: Striking images capture what the drought looks like in Connecticut

New Hampshire

Fire ban is lifted.

Rhode Island

Federal disaster declaration will help farmers.

Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions

  • Extreme drought (D3) conditions exist in 4% of the Northeast.
  • Severe drought (D2) conditions exist in 11% of the Northeast.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 53% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 20% of the region.


  • The 8-14 day outlooks favor below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation for the Northeast.
  • The 3-4 week outlooks favor equal chances for above or below-normal temperatures and precipitation.

Additional Resources

Prepared By

Sylvia Reeves
NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Samantha Borisoff, Jessica Spaccio, Keith Eggleston, Art DeGaetano
Northeast Regional Climate Center

Ellen Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region, NOAA

David Hollinger and Maria Janowiak
USDA Climate Hubs

Gardner Bent
USGS/New England Water Science Center

In partnership with National Weather Service Offices of the Northeast and State Climate Offices of the Northeast. 

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Northeast Drought Early Warning Update
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