Potential drought conditions developing in New England

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Recent surface-water, groundwater, and precipitation data indicate that drought conditions may presently be developing in parts of New England.


Map of real-time streamflow in New England, March 31, 2021

Static map of real-time streamflow in New England, March 31, 2021. (Public domain.)

Currently, the National Drought Monitor (NDM) (https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/CurrentMap/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?Northeast) shows parts of every state in New England to have "abnormally dry" conditions.

Additionally, parts of New Hampshire and Vermont are in a "moderate drought". The Northeast Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) precipitation for the year to date has been below normal in almost all of New England, with some areas of Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and northwestern Maine having only 25 to 50 percent of normal precipitation.

Low precipitation has also resulted in below normal streamflows across eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, and eastern Massachusetts. However, due to snowmelt runoff in northern New England (VT, NH, and ME), streamflows have been normal or above normal in this region.

Groundwater levels across New England are generally normal for this time of year.  









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Date published: July 24, 2020
Status: Active

New England Drought Information

Droughts are among the most costly hydrologic hazards in the United States. They are generally slow in developing, frequently occur over a long period of time, and can affect large areas and populations. The severity of a hydrologic drought is not always obvious until these water supplies are seriously depleted.