Despite some rainfall experienced in the Northeast in the last week, drought figures remained steady, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report.
With Massachusetts experiencing a severe drought, David Boutt, a hydrologist with University of Massachusetts, Amherst, says this year’s conditions are nothing like the five-year drought experienced in 1962-1967.
“This drought is bad, but it’s not the worst,” Boutt says. “It’s probably not yet in the top five drought periods in New England historically, so we need to keep things in perspective. Drought is a normal part of the water cycle.”
Bout says this year’s drought comes on the heels of a 15-year time span where precipitation was higher than normal. He says droughts are rarely one-year events, and he believes the current drought started as early as 2013.
“Droughts are multi-year events; they take some years to develop. And like the others, this one will be felt for longer than one season,” he says. “When soils are so dry, even with the nice rainfall of this week, it will take time for the hydrologic system to recover.”