Drought worsens after weeks of improvement

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades has worsened for a second straight week, after conditions had improved for more than a month.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows that 62.7 percent of the continental U.S. was in some form of drought as of Tuesday. That's up from 60.1 percent the previous week.

The portion of the lower 48 states in extreme or exceptional drought -- the two worst classifications -- also rose, to 20.12 percent from last week's 19.04 percent.

The dry conditions intensified sharply in Oklahoma, where 90.5 percent of the state is in extreme or exceptional drought. That's up 19 percentage points.

The portion of South Dakota in those two classifications rose more than 8 percentage points, to 63.32 percent.


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