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2020 drought in New England

February 11, 2021

Below average and infrequent rainfall from May through September 2020 led to an extreme hydrologic drought across much of New England, with some areas experiencing a flash drought, reflecting its quick onset. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recorded record-low streamflow and groundwater levels throughout the region. In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (2020) declared Aroostook County in Maine and Hillsborough and Merrimack Counties in New Hampshire as crop disaster areas. By the beginning of October, 166 community water systems and 5 municipalities in New Hampshire, more than 100 municipalities in Massachusetts, and several community water supplies in Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island had mandatory water restrictions in place.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2020
Title 2020 drought in New England
DOI 10.3133/ofr20201148
Authors Pamela J. Lombard, Janet R. Barclay, Dee-Ann E. McCarthy
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2020-1148
Index ID ofr20201148
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization New England Water Science Center