The U.S. Drought Monitor kept Rhode Island in the “Extreme Drought” category Thursday and even expanded this area into parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Not only has rainfall been sparse lately, but precipitation has also been extremely lacking since the start of 2020. With only 24.54 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1, T.F. Green is running over nine inches below normal for the year.

There are actually some areas in southern New England that are even lower than that — a volunteer observing station in Providence has measured only around 21 inches of precipitation in 2020!

Bristol County Massachusetts has received very low rainfall totals as well.

Using Jan. 1st to Sept. 24 as our rainfall measuring gauge, is this the driest stretch in recorded history for the Providence area? Nope. It is in the top ten driest but it is not in first place.

In 1957, only 17.71 inches of precipitation hit the ground from Jan. 1st to Sept. 24.