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State clear of worst drought category

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published November 8, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.

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The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor shows no part of Arkansas is under the worst category of drought.

— No part of Arkansas is under the worst category of drought for the first time in more than four months, officials said Thursday.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor showed more than 80 percent of Arkansas is still under some form of drought, but no part of the state is under an exceptional drought, the worst category. The weekly report was released Thursday morning and reflects conditions through Tuesday.

Parts of southern Arkansas, including Chicot, Ashley and Union counties, are largely or completely free of abnormally dry conditions.

Arkansas hasn't been free of an exceptional drought somewhere within its borders since July 3, though the numbers had dwindled to less than 1 percent of the state in recent weeks before dropping off altogether in the latest report.

At the peak of the drought in mid-August, more than 50 percent of the state was under the most severe category, which reflects a rainfall deficit of 9 inches or more in a 30-day period.

According to the latest report, 29.8 percent of Arkansas remains under at least an extreme drought, the second-worst category. Nearly 64 percent of the state is under at least a severe drought.

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