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‘Extreme drought’ expands in Mass.

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The area showed in red is suffering from an extreme drought.

The latest map released by the US Drought Monitor expanded the area within the state suffering an "extreme drought" to nearly a quarter of Massachusetts, from the entire northeastern portion of the state south into Plymouth and Bristol counties.

The extreme drought area, the most severe designation to be declared in Massachusetts since the government-academic collaboration began mapping drought conditions in 1999, covers 22.67 percent of the state, the map shows.

Most of the rest of the state is suffering a "severe drought," according to the map. The severe drought area was expanded onto Cape Cod, where only moderate drought had been reported previously.


"Drought conditions worsened in Massachusetts and surrounding areas," the officials wrote, citing the "recent and longer term lack of precipitation across this area."

The far western edge of the state and Nantucket are the only parts of the state that are not in some level of drought. Both have been deemed "abnormally dry," however.

The Drought Management Task Force will meet again on Sept. 8 to reexamine the dry conditions and recommend what the state should do.

Dylan McGuinness can be reached at dylan.mcguinness @globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DylMcGuinness.