April showers bring May flowers, and also an end to the drought in Massachusetts.
No areas of the state are labeled as abnormally dry for the first time in months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The state’s Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs also confirmed the news Thursday, announcing in a statement that “with above normal precipitation at the end of March, all of April and the beginning of this month, all indices across the commonwealth have recovered fully.”
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton declared that normal conditions have returned throughout the commonwealth, replacing last month’s drought advisory.
But still, it’s not all smooth sailing from here on out. As we head further into spring and summer, the office warned Massachusetts residents to be mindful of their water usage.
“As the commonwealth transitions into the growing and watering season, the state reminds residents to think carefully about what they plant, encourages good landscape practices, and recommends watering plants only early in the morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation,” the office said in a statement.
Fred Laskey, executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources authority, said in a statement that the Quabbin Reservoir is slightly below normal, but is continuing to rise.
“It is still important for our customers to conserve water, particularly as the weather warms up and outdoor usage starts to increase,” he said.
The return to normal condition means that the Drought Management Task Force will no longer meet on a regular basis. State agencies will continue to monitor conditions across the commonwealth.
"Despite the lifting of the drought advisory, we will continue to offer technical assistance to public water suppliers and communities across the commonwealth to help them manage their water resources,” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg said in a statement. “And as we move into the warm-weather months, when water use is at its peak, we encourage water suppliers to work with their customers to continue their efforts to use water wisely.”
The recent rain and cooler-than-average temperatures have eliminated all current drought concerns for the entire Northeast region, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Other areas across the country still struggle with dry conditions, though. Temperatures of 4 to 6 degrees higher than average have expanded the moderate drought in western New Mexico and southeast Arizona, and abnormally dry conditions exacerbated the moderate drought in Texas. Southern Georgia and parts of Florida also saw new areas of extreme drought as conditions worsened.