Central Minnesota appears to be in the grips of another drought.
The St. Cloud Times is reporting that the U.S. Drought Monitor shifted Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, and part of Wright Counties into a severe drought designation on Thursday. Previously, the counties had been listed in a moderate drought.
Those four counties, plus much of Kandiyohi and most of Meeker Counties are amongst the driest in the state. For example St. Cloud is six inches behind normal precipitation, and has received less than one inch of measurable rainfall during the month of August.
The Associated Press reports that the total area of Minnesota rated abnormally dry or worse shrank slightly from 85 to 79 percent, due to improving conditions in northeastern Minnesota, however much of the midwest remains in drought.
Last week's warm temperatures have stressed crops all over the state.