Mass. and Conn. free of extreme drought

Dry conditions continue to recede in New England, researchers said Thursday, announcing that Massachusetts and Connecticut are both free of extreme drought.
The US Drought Monitor, a collaboration of federal and academic researchers, said much of the region remains unusually dry, with swaths still under the slightly less bleak designation of severe drought.
“Long-term conditions are still very dry, but the region has seen a response from the impact of melting snow and rain,” researchers said, adding that New England has a good chance for above average precipitation in coming days.
The Quabbin Reservoir remains at 81 percent of its capacity, and it has hovered around that level for months.
Frederick A. Laskey, executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, said in an interview that the size of the reservoir, one of the largest in the nation, makes it less responsive to weather changes.
“The Quabbin is so large that it goes down very slowly and it comes back very slowly,” he said, “We’re holding our own.
We’re waiting for some late winter heavy storms or some spring heavy rains.” Some communities’ smaller reservoirs have gained more from recent precipitation, Laskey said, but he noted that those also lost a greater percentage of their water during the stubborn dry spell.
Andy Rosen can be reached at
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