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Associated Press, Published September 06 2012

Minnesota, Dakotas getting drier

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 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.

The southeastern corner of South Dakota and a small portion of the state's southwest have slipped into exceptional drought over the past week.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows about 5 percent of South Dakota being in the exceptional drought category, and about 64 percent in the severe and extreme categories. Last week, 61 percent of the state was in severe or extreme drought, and none was in the exceptional category.

Conditions have not worsened as much in North Dakota. About 20 percent of the state is in severe drought, compared to 17 percent last week. None of North Dakota is suffering from extreme or exceptional drought.

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Online: U.S. Drought Monitor