WEATHER

The latest drought survey map for Massachusetts, as of April 6, 2017.
U.S. Drought Monitor

Recent wet weather has put a dent in the drought that's been plaguing most of New England for much of the past year. 

In western Massachusetts, most of the area is tagged by forecasters as just "abnormally dry." Only a swath along along the Connecticut River in Hampden and Hampshire counties, extending into western Franklin County is still under a moderate drought.

Anthony Artusa with the U.S. Climate Prediction Center said the chances are good for above average rainfall over the next few months, which will help wipe out the drought completely.

A winter storm hit Pittsfield, Mass., on March 14, 2017.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

If forecasters are correct, March won't exactly be going out like a lamb. The winter storm expected to hit New England Friday will further strain the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's budget.

The Massachusetts fiscal year 2017 budget includes $62 million for snow and ice removal. By law, state transportation officials are allowed to go $50 million over

MassDOT said it was already up against that cap two weeks ago and will work with lawmakers to cover all winter clean-up costs.

Construction of the MGM casino in Springfield, Mass., as of Oct. 2016.
Don Treeger / The Republican

What made The Short List this week?

File photo / The Republican

With one to two feet of fresh snow on the ground after this week’s winter storm, Berkshire County ski areas say they’ll be able to do something they couldn’t do this time last winter: stay open. While there has been more snow this ski season, business on the slopes has still been something of a mixed bag.

At Bousquet Mountain in Pittsfield, Sherry Roberts said they haven’t set any records, but business has been steady this season. And boy did they need it. 

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