US Drought Levels Off After 2 Weeks of Worsening

The leaves of corn stalks turn upward to collect more water when it comes, on a farm west of Center Point, Iowa, on Tuesday, July 11, 2012. Much of the midwest is in a moderate to severe drought. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new report shows that the nation's worst drought in decades has leveled off last week after worsening during the two previous weeks

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows more than 62 percent of the continental U.S. remains in some form of drought. One-fifth of the land in the lower 48 states is still in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications.

All of several Midwest and Plains farming states, including South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, are experiencing at least some form of drought.

The two previous weekly updates showed overall conditions had worsened after more than a month of showing slight improvements.

Heavy rainfall is expected in coming days in portions of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River region.

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