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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

Current U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) map for the Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) with data valid for March 9, 2021. The USDM is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Drought categories show experts’ assessments of conditions related to dryness and drought including observations of how much water is available in streams, lakes, and soils compared to usual for the same time of year.

According to the latest USDM:

  • Moderate Drought (D1) conditions exist in 6.9% of the region.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions exist in 30.1% of the region.

U.S. Drought Monitor Categories

The color with the hex code #ffff00 identifies:
D0
The color with the hex code #ffcc99 identifies:
D1
The color with the hex code #ff6600 identifies:
D2
The color with the hex code #ff0000 identifies:
D3
The color with the hex code #660000 identifies:
D4
Main Stats
6.9%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Moderate Drought (D1)
30.1%
of the Northeast DEWS is experiencing Abnormally Dry (D1) conditions
Below-Normal
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)
Email: sylvia.reeves@noaa.gov

Ellen L. Mecray
Regional Climate Services Director, Eastern Region
NOAA/NESDIS/National Centers for Environmental Information
Email: Ellen.L.Mecray@noaa.gov

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.