UNDATED (WJON News) -- The drought area continues to deepen and widen across the state of Minnesota.

Thursday's weekly update from the U.S. Drought Monitor says 80 percent of the state is now in at least a moderate drought, up from 70 percent last week.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor

The severe drought area is now at 30 percent, up from 18 percent last week.

And, the extreme drought remains at just over one percent for the second week in a row.  This area does include the St. Cloud metro area into much of Benton County and northern Sherburne County.

Note, even though the update has come out on Thursday, the numbers are as of 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, so Tuesday night's and Wednesday morning's rain in central Minnesota is not reflected in this update yet.

St. Cloud has had 1.55 inches of rain so far in the month of July.  We're still 1.51 inches below normal for the month.

For the summer months (June, July, August) St. Cloud has had 2.22 inches of rain so far.  We're 4.59 inches below normal so far.  The driest summer on record in St. Cloud was 3.51 inches in 1950.  We still have a full month to go, so we'll see what happens, but we're definitely on track for one of the driest summers on record.

Going all the way back to late April, St. Cloud has had a total of 3.09 inches of rain.

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Climate Prediction Center
Climate Prediction Center

The extended forecast isn't promising either.  The Climate Prediction Center says the first week of August is looking to be drier than normal, especially in the eastern part of Minnesota.



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