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Study: Summer Drought Unlikely Despite Dry Winter

A study says summer drought in New England is unlikely despite a warm winter and little snow that sent far less water than usual tumbling into streams and rivers.

The U.S. Geological Survey says summer rains play a bigger role than winter snow in feeding waterways.

The study also links stream flows to climate. It said temperatures have been rising for half a century, causing snowpack to melt earlier, which in turn leads to most runoff early in the season.

Robert W. Dudley, an Augusta, Maine-based hydrologist for the Geological Survey and one of three authors of the study, says he and others conducted the study after observing lower-than-usual streams.

The study says that in southern New England, stream flows in April were off 90 percent from normal.

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