Northeast Drought Early Warning Update
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Drought Early Warning Update for the

July 15, 2021

Coastal parts of northern New England saw relief from Elsa but not interior locations or Cape Cod
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.

Key Points

  • Severe Drought (D2) persisted in parts of Maine and New Hampshire.
  • Moderate Drought (D1) held on in northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, much of western Maine, and Cape Cod.
  • Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions – strongly indicated by a lack of groundwater recharge – will be watched closely in all of northern New England, parts of New York, and Cape Cod.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions

  • Severe drought (D2) exists in 2.6% of the region.
  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 20.3% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 29.1% of the region.
July 13, 2021, U.S. Drought Monitor Map:
7-Day Average Streamflows

  • Streamflows are high or much above average across much of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and southern parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. Parts of northern New Hampshire and Vermont, and parts of Maine, are seeing below normal or much below normal streamflows.
Annual Precipitation Departure from Normal
State-Reported Impacts


 New Hampshire
  • Recent rains provided 3" - 6" in much of the southern half of the state, but much less in the north, where the rain was most needed. As a result, drought and abnormally dry conditions have receded north.
  • At the end of June, groundwater level monitoring indicated that most wells in the network were below average and had dropped since the end of May. Due to the growing season and warm summer temperatures, most rain received goes to plants and evaporation or runoff. Significant groundwater recharge will not occur until the fall. 
  • Stream flows have recovered in the majority of the state, except for the north.
  • NHDES is urging systems to maintain outdoor water use restrictions. Implementing mandatory restrictions is prudent in areas experiencing moderate drought, particularly in areas which experience a significant increase in outdoor water use in the summer. Those areas experiencing abnormally dry conditions should be messaging water conservation to residents and customers, as well as be implementing restrictions based on availability of supplies and increases in demand.
  • Currently 86 water systems have restrictions in place.
  • Elsa soaks New Hampshire, but like Maine, more rain is needed:
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  • The 8-14 day outlook indicates normal temperatures for the region except for western New York, where above-normal temperatures are favored. Below-normal precipitation is favored for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire and Vermont, and central and southern New York. Normal precipitation is favored for the rest of the region.
  • The 3-4 week outlook favors above-normal temperatures across almost all of the Northeast and equal precipitation chances for the region, except for western New York, where above-normal precipitation is favored.
Temperature Outlook 8-14 Day
Precipitation Outlook 8-14 Day
Temperature Outlook Week 3-4
Precipitation Outlook Week 3-4
Additional Resources

Contacts for More Information

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.