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2016 Was The Driest Summer Ever Recorded In Boston

Drought-affected fields at Shaw Farm in Dracut, Massachusetts. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
Drought-affected fields at Shaw Farm in Dracut, Massachusetts. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)

The summer of 2016 will go down as the driest ever recorded in Boston.

The National Weather Service says 3.92 inches of rain fell on the city in June, July and August — the meteorological summer. That breaks the previous record of 3.97 inches, set in 1957.

The dry weather was accompanied by record-breaking heat, as last month was Boston's warmest August in recorded history, according to the weather service. The average temperature was 76.5 degrees, one full degree higher than the previous record, which was set in 1988.

Benjamin Sipprell, with the National Weather Service in Taunton, told WBUR an extended heat wave led to the record temperature.

"We were dealing with at or near 90 degree temperatures, ranging from the 5th of August all the way until the 18th, with just a few cool spells in between," Sipprell said.

The summer as a whole is tied with 2010 as Boston's fourth-warmest ever recorded.

And on the state level, more than a fifth of Massachusetts is now listed in an "extreme drought."

The latest weekly report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, out Thursday, finds that 23 percent of the state is in an "extreme drought" — up from 17 percent last week.

Most of the rest of Massachusetts is in a "severe drought."

With reporting by WBUR's Sara-Rose Brenner

Earlier Drought Coverage:

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