For the first time in almost 8 months, Western New York is finally drought free. The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) made that official Thursday when it issued its weekly drought monitor for the country.

An unusually parched spring and summer made 2016 the driest year in the last 75 years. The drought reached its most severe in September, when just under ten percent of New York State was classified under "extreme drought" by the NDMC. That led to widespread water shortages and challenges for those in agriculture.

Rainfall in the Buffalo area has been near normal for the past six months; slowly but surely restoring reservoirs.

Parts of the area are still considered "unusually dry", a normal occurrence for an area coming out of a long-term drought. Weather patterns will continue to favor above average precipitation for much of the Northeastern U.S. in the coming weeks.