Nick Woodward / Maine Public

Some potato farmers in Aroostook County could see lower yields this year because of extreme drought in the region.

U.S. Geological Survey

2020 has been a very dry year. You might have noticed that your garden needs watering more than usual this summer — we've even been hearing of people watering their grass. And that's not something you see a lot of in Maine.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Almost 60% of Maine is in a "severe drought" stage now.

Potato farmers are worried about their crops as the northern part of the state experiences one of the driest summers on record.

Don Flannery of the Maine Potato Board said there has been no heavy rain, just showers, since before Memorial Day. Farmers are worried about a reduction in yield that could send ripples through the economy.

In Caribou, there's been only 4.8 inches of rain since June 1, which is about 5 inches below normal. The driest summer on record was 5.6 inches in 1995.

National Weather Service

Hot conditions since May coupled with very little rainfall have caused not just drier than average conditions in Maine, but actual drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.


We’ll discuss fire hazards and safety measures to be aware of this season, including dealing with Fourth of July fireworks. We’ll also talk about how people’s behavior during the pandemic has contributed to a rise in wildfires, as well as the impacts of the abnormally dry season that Maine has been experiencing.

Scattered showers that spread across Maine overnight helped relieve drought conditions in some areas, but not all, weather forecasters say.

National Drought Monitor / National Drought Mitigation Center

Much of Maine is experiencing an unprecedented early summer drought, according to the National Weather Service.

Ongoing Dry Weather Has Maine Farmers Worried

Jun 22, 2020

Maine's current dry spell is being felt widely by farmers in the state. Maine Agriculture Bureau Director Nancy McBrady says that growers without irrigation, who as of 2017 make up about 80 percent of industry in the state, are getting concerned.

CONCORD, N.H. - A drought-tracking service says that dry conditions are expanding across the Northeast due to warmer than average temperatures.

Compared to last year Maine is in much better shape as far as water is concerned. While last July most of New England was experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought, State Geologist Robert Marvinney says almost all of New England is drought free.

There’s just a little bit of abnormally dry area on the southern coast of Maine,” Marvinney said. “Compared to last year at this time when all of New England and a lot of New York was experiencing abnormally dry, moderate to severe drought.”

PORTLAND, Maine - Last year's drought is officially over in Maine.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine drought conditions have eased a little, but most of the state is still experiencing severe drought conditions, according to Maine's Drought Task Force.

Recent rain and snow events have helped restore stream and river water levels, but groundwater levels remain low.  Bruce Fitzgerald directs the Maine Emergency Management Agency and chairs the Drought Task Force.

“We don’t have any areas that are in extreme drought anymore, and that is due to the rain we have had over the last few weeks, but we are still in a severe drought in most of Maine.”

BANGOR, Maine - The dry conditions that have plagued much of New England this summer are expanding, and will persist through the harshest months of winter.

That's according to the latest predictions released by the National Integrated Drought Information System, which also show drought conditions pushing north of the state's central highlands and into Aroostook County.

The news is especially unwelcome by those who rely on private wells. "You'll see people running out of water," says Hydrologist Tom Hawley with the National Weather Service.

By Michael Casey, The Associated Press
CONCORD, New Hampshire - The long-running drought in much of the Northeastern United States is expected to persist through the winter.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows dry conditions continuing through February throughout New England and the only relief coming in parts of upstate New York, where some drought-stricken areas could see improving conditions.