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Drought persists in Mass., experts say

Darker colors indicate more severe drought status.
Darker colors indicate more severe drought status.(US Drought Monitor)

Drought conditions in the state have not changed much despite a few recent days of precipitation, according to the latest calculations by the US Drought Monitor.

About 8.6 percent of Massachusetts — an area in the southwestern part of the state — is suffering extreme drought, the second-highest possible designation. That number remained steady since last week, according to the Drought Monitor, a collaboration of academic and government officials.

Another 59 percent of the state is suffering severe drought, while 30.5 percent is suffering a moderate drought, and 1.2 percent of the state was abnormally dry. The severe drought percentage was down slightly, while the moderate drought figure was up slightly. The abnormally dry figure was the same. Conditions continued to be normal in less than 1 percent of the state.

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The highest-possible drought designation, above extreme drought, is an exceptional drought. None of Massachusetts has reached that level during the current drought.

The numbers were calculated Tuesday.

In a statement, the Drought Monitor said recent precipitation has helped Massachusetts, but New England has not caught up after a lengthy dry period.

“Since late fall, precipitation has been on the increase in New England, but not great enough to put a major dent in the long-term deficits,” the group said.


Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.