Drought is over in Berkshires
Drought is over in Berkshires.
Rest of Mass.
still suffering below normal water levels The yearlong drought is officially over.
After the above-average snowfall and frequent rainstorms of the past few months, Berkshire County’s status has returned to "normal," according to federal and state officials.
The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday has taken the county, and much of Massachusetts, back into the normal range for moisture for the first time since last summer, following designations ranging from moderate to severe drought.
In his weekly summary for the Drought Monitor, prepared by the the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Anthony Artusa of NOAA pointed out that stream flows in the area’s rivers and tributaries are near- to above-normal.
For the 2016-17 season, snowfall totaled 83 inches, about 10 percent above average.
State officials have also proclaimed Western Massachusetts drought-free, but cautioned that people should not let their guard down since a majority of the state is still seeing below normal water levels despite copious amounts of rain and snow last month.
The state’s Drought Management Task Force has been meeting monthly to track water levels and issue advisories.
Along the same lines, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Kurt Schwartz reported that "while recent precipitation has helped to reduce the severity of the drought in parts of the state, drought conditions continue and the public is urged to take steps to reduce both indoor and outdoor water usage."