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Despite rain, drought hangs on in SW Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The heavy rain and even snow that has covered much of Minnesota for the past several days hasn't quite made the drought go away.

The updated U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that the area of Minnesota in drought has shrunk from nearly 19 percent last week to under 8 percent this week. An area of moderate drought is now limited to a patch of southwestern Minnesota, south of the Minnesota River. Around 23 percent of Minnesota is still rated as at least abnormally dry, including pockets of central, west-central and north-central Minnesota. That compares with 42 percent last week.

The weekly Drought Monitor is based on data through 8 a.m. Central time on Tuesday, so next week's update may show continued improvement from the ongoing rain.

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