Most of Massachusetts is experiencing abnormally dry conditions and an expanding drought, according to the US Drought Monitor.
A map released Thursday by the US Drought Monitor showed that 74.6 percent of the state was in moderate drought on June 28. In those conditions lawns can brown early, gardens can wilt, crop growth is stunted and there’s an increased risk of fires.
“Short-term abnormal dryness and moderate drought expanded in coverage across much of New England this week, as rainfall was somewhat sparse across the eastern portion of the region,” stated the US Drought Monitor website on June 28. “Streamflows also continued a downward trend across parts of the region. Southeastern Massachusetts has begun community water conservation as moderate short-term drought continued.”
Lower than normal rainfall over the past three months caused conditions to deteriorate in many areas across Massachusetts, and on June 15 state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Bethany Card announced there was “significant drought” conditions in the northeast and southeast parts of the state, and “mild drought” conditions in the Connecticut River Valley, the central part of the state as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
“The last drought was from January-August 2021,” state officials wrote. “As drought conditions continue to worsen and we are in the growing season, it is important for residents and businesses to be mindful of their water use and conserve water both outdoors and indoors, fix leaks, and for communities to prepare for long-term resiliency to droughts.”