Rain leads to slight improvement in drought conditions

The percentage of Massachusetts under extreme or severe drought conditions dipped slightly from 96 to 94, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

A large swath of Mass. is experiencing extreme drought. U.S. Drought Monitor

Drought conditions, which have led to widespread wildfires throughout the state, showed signs of slight improvements in Massachusetts this week, according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The percentage of the state under extreme or severe drought conditions dipped slightly from 96 to 94, the monitor revealed in its weekly report released Thursday.

About 38% of the state is under under extreme drought, compared to 39% last week, according to the report. The monitor outlined some of the historically observed impacts of extreme drought, including farms struggling with crop loss, wells running dry, and wildlife experiencing increased outbreaks of disease.


In dry conditions, fire danger elevates, which is why fire officials issue warnings about outdoor burning, grilling, and other activities that could have increased risk of starting a brush fire.

Ongoing brush fires led fire officials to close Breakheart Reservation in Saugus to the public last month; it reopened partially on Friday, according to the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

An estimated 6.5 million people are currently living in drought areas throughout the state., the monitor said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map was created through a partnership of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The National Weather Service also shared some data Thursday, pointing out that both Hartford, Connecticut and Worcester had their warmest August yet, or at least in the time the service has been tracking its weather patterns. Meanwhile, Providence tied with its warmest August in NWS history, and Boston had its third warmest August.

See below for the breakdown of temperatures and precipitation in each of these cities last month:


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