Here’s how much the rain this week helped the drought in Mass.

Conditions are better, but we still have a ways to go.

Finally, after months of hot, dry weather, recent rainfall put a dent in the drought that’s been plaguing Massachusetts.

Last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly 40% of Massachusetts was in extreme drought — the second highest level of drought possible. More than 50% of the state was in severe drought, the level above extreme drought.

After this week’s rain, according to the drought monitor, less than 10% of Massachusetts is in extreme drought. Over 75% of the state is still in severe drought, but now a significant portion, nearly 15% is only experiencing a moderate drought.

The National Weather Service put out a report showing the improvement in drought conditions this week. – National Weather Service

Much of the improvement happened in Middlesex County, west Essex County, north Worcester County, and southwest Norfolk County.


Suffolk County, the eastern half of Essex County, and northeast Norfolk County remain in extreme drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor maps what parts of Massachusetts are in each level of drought. – U.S. Drought Monitor

National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorologist Bill Simpson said that different parts of Massachusetts got varying amounts of rain.

While most of eastern Massachusetts got one to three inches of rain, he said, the Taunton-Attleboro area got five to six, and the Cape got almost nothing.

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Simpson said the variation in rainfall may be one reason why certain areas are still in extreme drought.

“Gloucester got a little bit less than an inch, and then Newburyport, just to the north, they had almost five minutes or so,” he said.

Simpson said the rain this week significantly helped lessen the drought in the state, but that he’s not sure how much impact it will have in the long term.

“To get back to normal, we still have a ways to go,” he said.

As of Thursday, the NWS is not predicting more rain until Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

“No guarantees we’ll have a similar scenario, but we’re going into the fall and hopefully we’ll get more steady rain events,” Simpson said.

Even so, the impact of the rain this week was visible in some places.


Bloomberg News reporter Brian Sullivan shared pictures on Twitter Thursday showing the difference in water level in the Neponset River, which is southeast of Boston, between Sunday and Wednesday this week.

Low water levels in rivers are only one impact the drought has had on the state.

State officials said last month that there were nearly 100 wildfires in the state in the first few weeks of August and that farmers have reported smaller-than-usual crops.

The dryness has led most municipalities to implement outdoor water restrictions, and in some towns, such as Danvers, all outdoor water use has been banned.


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