Driest Summer on Record as Extreme Drought Worsens

The summer of 2016 is the driest summer season on record for the Boston area

Every Thursday morning, the Drought Monitor is released by the National Drought Mitigation Center. Unfortunately, since last week, the percentage of the northeast that is included in the extreme drought along with the severe drought has expanded.

The levels of drought include: dry, moderate, severe, extreme, exceptional. Fortunately, no one in this week’s drought monitor is included in the exceptional drought.

Today’s drought monitor release also falls on the first day of meteorological autumn, meaning we can now analyze the 3-month period of Summer 2016 to compare to previous meteorological summers.

Turns out, Summer 2016 (from June 1 – Aug. 31) is the driest summer season on record for the Boston-area, the bulls-eye on the drought monitor map since mid-summer. Just to put it into perspective, records have been kept since 1872, and during a typical three-month summer season, we receive 10.46 inches. Meanwhile, summer 2016 only tallied 3.92 inches of rainfall, nearly 6.5 inches below normal.


Without any significant rainfall within reach, we look toward the tropics for beneficial rainfall, which could also make for a damp Labor Day Monday especially in the areas closest to the southern New England Coast.

However, it all depends on the timing of Hermine, currently a tropical storm, but expected to make landfall along the Florida panhandle as a hurricane tonight. Stay tuned for the very latest updates on the tropics and how it will impact us in New England.

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