The latest drought map shows part of the northeast under “severe” drought. With the weather we've had lately, it’s not surprising the drought has worsened.
The new “severe” drought category is now across northern and eastern Massachusetts with 21% of the state under this. That area encompasses the Merrimack Valley, Route 2 corridor, and the northwest side of Boston. We went from about 75% of Massachusetts in moderate drought, to this week about 80% under this category. And now all of the commonwealth has at least abnormally dry conditions.
Boston has been in the "moderate drought" since the drought update on May 24. Each week, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln takes the rain data and soil moisture info through Tuesday on a given week. Then in turn, they issue a drought map every Thursday.
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Since January 1, Boston has had 6.78" of rain below normal, with only 16.09" of precipitation since 2022 began. This month in particular, we picked up a measly .25" for July and that is 1.08" below average so far.
Looking through spring stats (meteorological spring which is March, April, and May) from this year, eastern Mass had a very dry spring. The North Shore, South Shore, Cape, and Boston rank as 7th driest of the last 130 years of data on record. Worcester, Fitchburg, and Springfield rank as 39th driest, and far western Massachusetts ranks as 87th driest. We have a chance for soaking rain across southern New England on Saturday, as well as a severe weather risk. Stay tuned for updates on rain potential with hotter temps, but a more active pattern setting up for next week.