Northeast Drought Early Warning Update
Drought Early Warning Update for the

March 12, 2021

Monitoring and Preparing for a Possible Continuation of the 2020 Northeast Drought
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

  • 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.
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 without a spring recharge, dry conditions may be expected from late spring into summer.
Current Conditions
U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions

  • Moderate drought (D1) conditions exist in 6.9% of the region.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions exist in 30.1% of the region.
March 9, 2021, U.S. Drought Monitor Map:
Additional Resources

  • NOAA Regional Climate Services Monthly Webinar Series (March 30 next webinar):

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.