UNDATED -- This week's map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows 75 percent of the state of Minnesota is now in a moderate drought. A moderate drought means river and lake levels are lower than normal.

Fourteen percent of the state is in a severe drought. In these areas the ground is hard, seed corn is short, feed is expensive, crop yields are low, fire danger is high, burn permits are required, landscaping is stressed, leaves change colors early, bears search for food, trout runs are hampered, fish kills occur, river flow is very low, and well levels decrease.

As dry as it has been this year, last year was actually worse. The National Weather Service says we've had 9.7 inches of precipitation so far this year compared to 6.85 inches at this same time last year.

We did get a little bit of rain early Thursday morning here in St. Cloud. The best chances for rain over the next few days appear to be well to our south in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.

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