Drought intensifies across large parts of Minn. - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Drought intensifies across large parts of Minn.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The drought has intensified over the past week across broad swaths of Minnesota.

Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that a large portion of Minnesota that had been in a moderate drought is now in a severe drought. Eighteen percent was in a severe drought as of last week. That figure jumped 40 percentage points to 58 percent this week.

Areas that became drier include most of the northern half of Minnesota and parts of southeastern and south-central Minnesota.

Twenty-five percent of Minnesota remains in an extreme drought, a figure that's held steady for the past month. That area includes a large portion of southwestern and south-central Minnesota and a pocket of the northwest.

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