It seems like only last week that cold rain was pelting the region, and we wondered if it would be a busy mosquito season. Well, that was then, and this is now.

The blisteringly hot and dry summer season has bleached our lawns, wilted flowers, turned some leaves yellow and red before their time, and dried up some otherwise normally wet spots.

That is not all. The drought, now considered significant throughout our region, has resulted in authorities in New Bedford, Fairhaven, and other places calling for citizens to take voluntary conservation measures.

Unfortunately, it does not appear any beneficial rain is in our immediate future, meaning the situation could worsen before it improves much.

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According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the lack of rain has led to "severe" drought here and has become more than just an inconvenience. Severe drought conditions can result in specialty crops being impacted in both yield and fruit size, brittle trees that become susceptible to insects, fish kills, wildlife moving to farms in search of food, poor water quality, and declining groundwater, among other things.

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According to NOAA's National Intergraded Drought Information System, more than 5.8 million people in Massachusetts are affected by the drought. June 2022 was the 44th-driest June in 128 years, and 2022 is the driest year in 128 years.

NOAA reported it was a mighty hot and dry June in New Bedford and the rest of Bristol County. The folks in Plymouth County were pretty uncomfortable as well.

Commonwealth officials are expected to update the drought situation this week.

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