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This summer is officially rained out

New England Patriots fans sat in the rain during training camp on the Gillette Stadium practice field.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Last summer was one of the hottest for Massachusetts, and Boston recorded its driest summer in 138 years.

Then there’s this summer. The past three months, it’s been somber skies and fierce thunderstorms, making way for basement flooding, mosquito-borne diseases, wild mushrooms, beach closures, and canceled weekend plans. (In Greater Boston, only a third of all summer weekends were completely dry.)

Greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are to blame for our sodden season, experts say.

Although summer doesn’t officially end for more than a month, it is already one of the rainiest on record since 1872, and forecasters see even more rainy days ahead.


Events affected by severe weather

The inclement weather affected many highly awaited events of the season.

Beginning in late May, at Gillette Stadium, nearly 70,000 concertgoers saw Taylor Swift perform in the pouring rain.

A month and a half later, Fourth of July celebrations were either canceled or postponed due to severe weather. Firework celebrations were rescheduled in Falmouth, Andover, and New Bedford, to name a few. Folks waiting for the Boston Pops concert and fireworks had to seek shelter from the heavy rain for hours before being able to enjoy the celebration.

Patriots and Red Sox fans have also had to endure the rainy weather.

Similarly, thunderstorms caused flights to be canceled or delayed throughout the summer. On Aug. 8, Logan airport had 30 flight cancellations and 493 delays, according to FlightAware, a tech company that tracks air travel.

Warning: Swimming may cause illness

At the beginning of the summer, there were just a few beach closures across the state. By mid-July, 70 beaches were closed to the public due to unsafe levels of human waste detected in the water after weeks of heavy rain.

Combined sewage overflows occur when storm water and untreated sewage spill into nearby bodies of water after it rains. Due to the pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants in runoff rain, bacteria rapidly reproduces to unsafe levels.


Currently, nearly 50 beaches remain closed. (Here’s a full list.)

Beach closures do not prevent folks from entering the beach, it simply means swimming is not allowed. However, ignoring the warnings is no joke. Swimming in polluted water can lead to illnesses, such as nausea, sore throat, earache, skin rash, or fever.


The Northeast has seen a higher increase in the intensity of rainfall events than any other region of the country.

Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island have experienced massive flooding during this rainy summer season.

In Vermont, this season’s devastating flash flooding claimed a life and left many others seeking refuge as their houses and cars were inundated.

As the state tries to recover from the destruction caused by the rain, torrential downpours and thunderstorms promise to continue in New England.

Melissa Wisnowski stopped to get an address where she could send a check for the Poploski family, who lost their home in a mudslide in Vermont. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Although many factors contribute to flooding, precipitation is the strongest driver in Massachusetts.

Climate projections developed by the University of Massachusetts suggest that the frequency of high-intensity rainfall events will trend upward, leading to an increased risk of flooding, said the Massachusetts Climate Change Clearinghouse website.

Massachusetts residents are feeling the impact of this summer’s heavy rain first-hand.

In Western Mass. the four brothers who run the Teddy C. Smiarowski Farm lost nearly 150 acres worth of potatoes to last month’s flooding.

Businesses in North Andover and Lawrence lost thousands of dollars after last week’s heavy rain damaged their property.


People in Newton, Nedham, and Wellesley saw their streets, backyards, and basements fill with water after last Tuesday’s storms, NBC10 Boston reported. In Haverhill, Mayor James Fiorentini declared a state of emergency after severe storms and flooding carved out a 20-foot sinkhole on a major road.

Mosquito-borne illnesses

Not all mosquitoes thrive in rainy conditions, but mosquitoes that carry Eastern equine encephalitis do, as they breed and survive in wetland habitats.

The majority of cases in the state often come from Bristol, Plymouth, and Norfolk counties, according to the Department of Public Health.

This year, however, an outbreak of EEE is highly unlikely.

The other good news is that the torrential downpours likely limited the spread of another mosquito-borne disease; the West Nile Virus. That’s because the mosquitoes that carry West Nile breed in standing water such as in puddles, catch basins, and backyard containers get flushed out and killed during downpours.

Experts still recommend taking preventative measures like staying away from wetlands, if possible, reducing exposed skin, and wearing insect repellent.

Blooming mushrooms

You may have noticed a bumper crop of mushrooms in your back yard this summer. You are not alone.

Mushrooms are produced by fungal organisms that grow best in moist environments. This summer’s wet weather increased the fungal activity, leaving our lawns filled with multicolored mushrooms.

A mushroom shot up from the damp grass along a trail in Hingham.John Tlumacki

Material from Globe wire services was included in this report.

Emma Obregón Dominguez can be reached at emma.obregon@globe.com. Follow her on Instagram @eobredom.