Believe it or not, drought persists in W Minn - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Believe it or not, drought persists in W Minn

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Believe it or not, a third of Minnesota is still rated as abnormally dry or even still in drought.

While the drought is over in the eastern half of Minnesota thanks to all the rain, Thursday's update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of western Minnesota has not caught up.

A pocket of moderate-to-severe drought persists centered on parts of Renville and Redwood counties in southwestern Minnesota, while a moderate drought area is centered on Beltrami County in northwestern Minnesota.

Besides rainfall, the Drought Monitor also looks at soil moisture and stream and lake levels.

Overall, 34 percent of Minnesota is abnormally dry or worse, about a five-point improvement. That includes the nearly 13 percent of the state that's still officially in a moderate or severe drought.

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