Severe drought expands its hold in northern half of Minnesota

Drought conditions are getting worse in some parts of Minnesota, according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In the past week, the area experiencing severe or extreme drought expanded by half, from 22% of the state to 33%. Most of that change was from the drought stage deepening from moderate to severe in parts of northern and central Minnesota around St. Cloud, Mille Lacs Lake and the Leech Lake Reservation.

Last week, just under half of the state (49.7%) was considered to be in moderate drought and 21.9% was in severe drought. This week, those shares have shifted to 39.6% in moderate drought and 31.3% in severe drought.

The land area under extreme drought expanded slightly from 1.1% to 1.7%, with most of that change in the southeastern part of the state.