Drought not going anywhere

NORTH SHORE — Your senses may tell you it is cold and wet outside. The folks at the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) would partially agree with you.

While it’s cold outside, northeastern Massachusetts is still in a severe drought and is still not as wet as it should be, the USDM said.

“Widespread moderate precipitation fell in the Northeast [United States] this week, and localized long-term drought and abnormal dryness mostly persisted,” the USDM said in its weekly update.

“Recent precipitation in northwest Massachusetts reduced precipitation deficits and increased streamflows enough to end ongoing long-term moderate drought there. Temperatures in the region were mostly within five degrees of normal for the week,” it said.

The USDM releases its reports on Thursday. They measure the week ending Tuesday morning.

In Massachusetts, 3.36% of the state is in severe drought, the third phase of the USDM’s five-step classification system. The situation improved in western parts, where areas returned to normal conditions or fell back from moderate drought — USDM’s second step — to abnormally dry.

The good news is that December has been a wet month so far, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Its precipitation figures for Beverly Airport show that 1.41 inches of rain fell through Dec. 15. The normal for December is 2.15 inches.

USDM graphics
USDM graphics