As New England braces for what may be the first heat wave since last autumn, officials continue to monitor a deepening drought.
A severe drought is now ongoing in areas south of Manchester in New Hampshire, parts of extreme southern York County in Maine, and from the Massachusetts Turnpike northward in Massachusetts.
Rainfall is now nearly 10" below average over the past year in Northeastern and Central Massachusetts, and nearly 6" below average in parts of the Connecticut River Valley and Southeastern Massachusetts.
The lack of rain, and lack of snowmelt this past winter and spring, is resulting in very low river levels. Record low early July levels have been reported at 17 gauges in Massachusetts, according to state officials.
The Ipswich, Merrimack, Charles, Neponset, and Ware Rivers are just a few running much below normal.
Ground water levels are also dropping to extremely low levels. That is prompting state officials to request careful conservation across the Commonwealth, and especially in areas just north and west of Boston.
The Quabbin Reservoir, which feeds much of the Boston area, is still well above any level of concern.
While a few storms are expected late this week, the rain will not be enough to make a significant dent in the drought.