Drought watch has ended for Montgomery and seven other counties

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced on January 26th that after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force that a drought watch has been lifted for eight counties, including Montgomery County. The counties that have returned to normal status are Bucks, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Montgomery, Northampton, and Perry counties.

Five counties remain in a drought watch status; Adams, Cameron, Cumberland, Fulton and Westmoreland counties. York County’s status has been changed from drought warning to drought watch. Drought warning will continue for Clinton and Franklin counties.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection:

To determine drought conditions, DEP assesses information from public water suppliers and data on four indicators: precipitation, surface water (stream and river) flow, groundwater level, and soil moisture.  

The DEP Drought Coordinator monitors the indicators in close partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which maintains gauges in streams and wells in many locations across Pennsylvania. There are normal ranges for all four indicators. DEP makes drought status recommendations after assessing departures from these ranges for all indicators for periods of 3-12 months. For a map that’s updated daily to show the status of all four indicators for each county, see the USGS Pennsylvania drought condition monitoring website

DEP shares these data and its recommendations with the state and federal agencies and other organizations that make up the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. Declarations are determined by DEP, with the concurrence of the task force.