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Published November 15, 2012, 11:36 AM

Drought conditions improve in ND, Mont.

Drought eased in North Dakota and Montana, but there was little change in conditions in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Drought eased in North Dakota and Montana, but there was little change in conditions in Minnesota and South Dakota, according to the latest edition of the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday.

In North Dakota, 8.6 percent of the state is free of drought, compared with 0.2 percent a week ago. The drought-free areas are in north-central and west-central North Dakota.

In Montana, 45.3 percent of the state is free of drought, compared with 32.9 percent a week ago. Most of northern Montana is not in drought, while most of the southern half of the state is.

All of Minnesota remains in drought. There is virtually no change from a week ago in the percentage of the state in the various drought categories, ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought.

All of South Dakota remains in drought, too. One minor improvement: Slightly less of the state is in extreme drought than a week ago, while slightly more is in severe drought. Extreme drought is the fourth worst of five drought categories, while severe drought is the third worst. In other words, drought conditions moderated, from extreme to severe, in a small part of South Dakota.

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