MINNEAPOLIS - The latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor show that Minnesota is getting drier, especially southern Minnesota.
Nearly 63 percent of the state is rated as abnormally dry or in drought, up nearly 9 percentage points from just last week. The southwest corner of the state and a portion of south-central Minnesota worsened from a severe drought rating to an exceptional drought rating.
Some parts of east-central and southeastern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, which had been rated normal, are now rated abnormally dry.
Much of northwestern Minnesota remains in a moderate to severe drought.
Other key farm states punished by the nation's worst drought in decades caught a break with several inches of rainfall from Hurricane Isaac's remnants, but other parts of the Midwest weren't as lucky.
The weekly Drought Monitor map shows that the section of the continental U.S. in the worst two categories of drought - extreme and exceptional - dipped slightly to 21.45 percent, down 1.7 percentage points from last week.
Stretches of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana got some relief, with as much as 6 inches of rain left behind by slow-moving Isaac easing some of the drought conditions in those states.
But the nation's biggest corn producer, Iowa, for the most missed out on the moisture. Portions of that state's northwestern acreage slipped into exceptional drought.
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