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Regional Drought Update Date
March 12, 2021
Site Section
Drought Status Update

Drought Early Warning Update for the Northeast

DEWS Regions:
Update Status:

NIDIS and its partners will issue future drought early warning updates as conditions evolve.

Monitoring and preparing for a possible continuation of the 2020 Northeast drought. 

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

Key Points

  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions were expanded in northern New York, southern Vermont, and western Massachusetts.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) held on in the northern Connecticut River valley (especially on the Vermont side).
  • Moderate Drought (D1) also held on in northern New York. 
  • Seven-day streamflows were below normal from western New Hampshire down to their coastline, Vermont, eastern New York, and western and central Massachusetts.
  • As of the February monthly status report, the majority of groundwater reporting stations in New Hampshire registered a drop in their levels.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions: Northeast | March 9, 2021

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

Main Stats
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Moderate Drought (D1)
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D1) conditions
7-day streamflows in parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts

State-Reported Impacts

  • States are closely monitoring hydrological conditions and the temperature/precipitation outlooks.
  • Massachusetts and Connecticut recently held drought committee meetings with Massachusetts considering a drought level change for their western region.
  • In New Hampshire, the Department of Environmental Services (DES) is requesting water systems and municipalities prepare for potential drought in 2021.
  • In Maine, experts say that without a spring recharge, dry conditions may be expected from late spring into summer. 

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

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. 

Special Thanks

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.