Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boston, MA

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000 AXUS71 KBOX 301839 DGTBOX CTC003-013-015-MAC001-005-007-009-011-013-015-017-019-021-023-025- 027-RIC001-003-005-007-009-011845- DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA 239 PM EDT Thu Mar 30 2017 ...CONDITIONS IMPROVED DURING MARCH BUT DROUGHT CONDITIONS LINGERED IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND... * Synopsis... December through February brought above normal temperatures accompanied by near normal to below normal precipitation. The above normal temperatures allowed for periods of rainfall and snowmelt on thawed soils, prompting improvements in river and stream levels, as well as groundwater levels. March precipitation month-to-date has been 0.75 inch to 2 inches below normal. With the growing season not yet begun, some continued improvements were noted in hydrologic conditions across southern new england. However, some drought impacts still lingered. According to the March 28 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, much of Massachusetts was under D1, or Moderate Drought conditions. Tolland County CT was also under Moderate Drought. Hartford County CT, as well as a small portion of north central MA southwestward into the Holyoke and Springfield areas, remained under D2 or Severe Drought conditions. D0, or Abnormally Dry conditions, prevailed across Rhode Island, a portion of south central and southeast MA...Cape Cod and Martha`s Vineyard. Nantucket Island was under normal conditions. * Summary of impacts... State and local actions: Since drought conditions and water systems vary by location... most water management decisions are made by state and local governing officials. In Connecticut...A Drought Watch remained in effect for central and western portions of the state. Across the 2 eastern most counties... Including Windham County...A Drought Advisory remained in effect. In Massachusetts...A Drought Watch was in effect for the following Drought Regions: Connecticut River Region and the Southeast Region. A Drought Advisory was in effect for the Western, Central, Northeast, and Cape and islands Drought Regions. Soil moisture and groundwater conditions: Soil moisture was slightly below normal for this time of year. Soils were thawed. USGS ground water wells transmitting in real time were at normal to below normal levels. River and streamflow conditions: As of March 30, river flows were predominantly normal for this time of year. Area waterways received a boost from recent rainfall and Snowmelt. Water supply conditions: Water supply had improved over the course of the winter and early spring. However there were some water supply systems in southern New England that remained at below normal levels, with local water restrictions in place. Please consult local officials for any information regarding specific local water restrictions. In Massachusetts, Quabbin Reservoir improved back into its normal range...AT 81.1 percent capacity. The Cambridge water supply was still below normal as of late February. The reservoir system for the City of Worcester had improved to 83.2 percent capacity as of March 1. However this was still below normal for this time of year. The City was under a Stage 1 Drought Alert as of March 10. Within Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Health indicated the statewide reservoir capacity was at 91.5 percent of normal. Conditions at individual reservoir systems varied. In Rhode Island, the Scituate Reservoir was at 100 percent capacity, although the Pawtucket water supply was slightly below normal. * Climate summary... Precipitation and temperatures: March 2017 month-to-date /through March 29/ brought below normal precipitation to southern New England. Within MA, liquid equivalent precipitation totals ranged mainly between 2 and 4 inches. Across RI And northern CT, somewhat higher liquid equivalent totals were noted, ranging from 3 to 4. 5 inches. This month-to-date precipitation was 0.75 to 1.5 inches below normal for the majority of the region. The exception was within RI and southeast MA, where precipitation was 1 to 2 inches below normal. Looking at the precipitation over the winter, December through February, liquid equivalent precipitation ranged from 10 to 13 inches across the eastern half of MA, all of RI, and the east slopes of the Berkshires in MA. Lower precipitation totals of 9 to 11 inches were noted across north central and northeast CT, as well as a portion of central MA. The winter precipitation ranged from normal to about 1.5 inches below normal across the region. However, above normal temperatures allowed for periods of rainfall and snowmelt. This allowed for gradual improvements in river and stream levels, as well as ground water and reservoir levels, over the course of the winter. Temperatures over the winter averaged 3 to 5 degrees above normal. In contrast, March temperatures month-to-date averaged 3 to 5 degrees below normal. Snow pack: The coverage and extent of snow pack in southern New England was slightly above normal for this time of year. The ground was mainly bare across much of the area. Snow depth ranged from 2 To 7 inches across north central MA as well as the east slopes of the Berkshires. Where this snow pack remained, the water content ranged from 1 to 2 inches, with localized higher water content nearing 3 inches. * Precipitation/Temperature Outlook... Short term improvements are expected over the next 2 weeks. A low pressure system is expected to bring around 1.5 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation to southern New England during Friday into Saturday. Precipitation is expected to be a wintry mix of rain, snow And sleet. As of March 30, winter weather headlines were in effect for portions of southern New England. Please stay tuned for updates regarding t...his storm via NOAA Weather Radio, the NWS Taunton MA web site http://weather.gov/boston, and/or local media for updates regarding this upcoming event. Forecast highs are in the 40s to mid 50s during Sunday through the next workweek. As a result any snow pack in place, or established with the upcoming system, is expected to see a steady and gradual melt. Another low pressure system could affect southern New England during early next week, with the potential for around an inch of liquid equivalent. At this time, this system is expected to be predominantly a rainfall event. Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to this second precipitation event. Looking farther ahead, the Climate Prediction Center`s 8 to 14 day outlook covering the period from April 6 to 12, indicates a likelihood for above normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. * Hydrologic Summary and Outlook... The winter and early spring have brought gradual improvements to the longer term drought. These improvements have been noted in streamflow, ground water, and reservoirs. However, there are still some shortfalls with respect to soil moisture, ground water, and some reservoir systems. State drought declarations continue, and the U.S. Drought Monitor continued to show southern New England in Drought to Abnormally Dry conditions. An active weather pattern is expected over the next 2 weeks, with the potential for above normal precipitation. This should bring continued gradual improvement to the drought prior to the onset of the growing season. && Related web sites... Additional information on current drought conditions may be found At the following web addresses: US Drought Monitor: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu US Drought Information System: http://www.drought.gov NOAA Drought Page: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/drought Northeast regional climate center: http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu Additional river information... National Weather Service: http://water.weather.gov US Geological Survey: http://water.usgs.gov US Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.usace.army.mil * Acknowledgments... The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s National Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, the USDA, State and regional center climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites, State Cooperative Extension Services, the USDA, USACE and USGS. * Questions or Comments... If you have questions or comments about this drought information Statement, please contact: National Weather Service 445 Myles Standish Blvd Taunton MA 02780 Phone...508-823-1900 BOX.webmaster@noaa.gov $$ For the latest updates...please visit our webpage at www.weather.gov/Boston You can follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NWSBoston You can follow us on Twitter at @NWSBoston

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