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February 5, 2021

On February 4, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection removed the three remaining counties under Drought Watch declarations. Hydrologic conditions for all Commonwealth counties are now in a Normal status. 

Current information from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) Drought Program

USGS groundwater and surface water monitoring data contributed to drought status decisions by PaDEP that began with Drought Watch declarations for 16 counties on August 21, 2020. The number of counties with declared drought status peaked with Warnings for three counties and Watches for 30 counties on October 18, 2020. Since then, PaDEP gradually lifted Watches and Warnings as hydrologic conditions returned to normal. 

Streamflow and groundwater levels, National Weather Service data on precipitation, and Climate Prediction Center calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (for soil moisture dryness) are used as indicators that help determine drought status. Trends in the USGS-provided information can be explored via our Web App

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