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More than half of Massachusetts now in 'severe drought'

Next Weather: WBZ Evening Update For August 5
Next Weather: WBZ Evening Update For August 5 03:36

By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON - Another Thursday and yet another expansion of the drought here in southern New England. Now more than half of the state of Massachusetts (57% up from 44% last week) is considered to be in "severe drought."

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The numbers are getting more and more concerning. Boston hasn't had a day with a quarter inch of rain or more since June 27. Currently, the city is more than three-tenths of an inch below the average in August, marking the sixth straight month with below average water. In total, Boston is nearing 9 inches below the average rainfall to date in 2022.

It isn't just Massachusetts that needs the water. Severe drought levels rose about 8 percent over the last week in New Hampshire and 10 percent in Maine. For the first time this week, the entire state of Rhode Island is now considered to be in moderate drought.

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 So, when do we get some water?

There is some good news and bad news.

The good:

We are entering a much more unsettled pattern starting Friday and lasting into early next week. There will be a chance of showers and storms just about every day. And, with the humidity being so high, when and where it does finally rain, it will pour!

The bad:

The showers in the days ahead will be very hit or miss. And, I fear that more towns will end up in the "miss" category. Our best chance at a widespread rain may come with the break in the heat wave next Tuesday or Wednesday. Also with the ground being so dry, a heavy rainfall coming all at once may tend to runoff and not soak in as much. 

What we really could use is a steady light to moderate rainfall over the course of many hours. That does not appear to be in the cards any time soon. We may have to wait for some sort of tropical system or its remnants. It does appear that as we get later in August and into September the Atlantic basin will become more active.

Related: How you can help your lawn and plants survive the drought

For those with home gardens who don't have an all out water ban in their town, I would suggest watering early in the day, between 5 and 8 a.m. It is also best to water your plants with a slow drip or mist setting. Check to make sure the water is getting several inches deep into the soil. Lastly, don't cut the grass too short! Leave it 3-to-4 inches long at least.

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