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Drought conditions worsen in Minnesota, North Dakota

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor1 / 2
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor2 / 2

Dry conditions in northeastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota have worsened during the last week, reports show.

The United States Drought Monitor classifies most portions of the area as “abnormally dry.” Richard Heim of the National Centers for Environmental Education said the area varies between near moderate drought conditions to just unusually dry.

All counties in northeast North Dakota are now classified as abnormally dry. Northwest Minnesota faces the same conditions, while Red Lake, Pennington and Lake of the Woods counties are almost entirely in a drought zone along with large portions of Marshall, Roseau and Beltrami counties.

Minnesota is facing very large potential for drought, as 41 percent of the state is abnormally dry, up from just 18 percent last week, the report said. Only 7 percent is in a moderate drought.

According to the drought monitor, 56 percent of North Dakota classified as abnormally dry, up 26 percent from the previous week. North central portions of the state have moderate drought and portions surrounding McHenry County are experiencing severe drought.

Heim said little rain is expected this week, so conditions will likely become more dry. The hot temperatures and low precipitation create a low soil moisture.

County-by-county reports are available for North Dakota and Minnesota and Drought Monitor's website.