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Regional Drought Update Date
December 18, 2020
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Early Warning Update for the Northeast

DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

This will be the last update of 2020

Abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions persist in some areas of the Northeast, but improvements continue.

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

Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) remains in a small area of southeastern New Hampshire.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) to Moderate Drought (D1) conditions continue in some areas of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.
  • Improvements were seen in central and eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and in all of Rhode Island.
  • Groundwater recovery is evident in many areas of New England, but has not occurred in many areas of New Hampshire and New York.
Current Conditions

U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast |

December 15, 2020
Main Stats
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Severe Drought (D2)
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Moderate Drought (D1)
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Abnormally Dy (D0) conditions

State-Reported Impacts

State drought committees and task forces have adjourned until the new year or spring 2021. Most will continue to monitor conditions, particularly groundwater recharge.

Awareness, preparedness, and water conservation should still be practiced. 

USGS Groundwater Watch

U.S. Geological Survey map of the Northeast showing groundwater levels as a percent of normal. Low and much below normal conditions are seen across New York and Pennsylvania.
Groundwater levels across the Northeast as a percent of normal conditions, from the U.S. Geological Survey's Real-Time Groundwater Level Network. Updated December 18, 2020.

Additional Resources

Contacts for More Information

Sylvia Reeves
Regional Drought Information Coordinator (Northeast DEWS)
NOAA/CIRES/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

Ellen L. Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region
NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information

Special Thanks

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. 

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.