Recent rain in the northern half of Arkansas helped much of that region emerge from drought conditions, officials said Thursday.
The latest Drought Monitor, which reflects conditions through Tuesday morning, shows only about 33 percent of Arkansas under a moderate drought. That's down from about 44 percent a week ago.
Areas in severe drought went up slightly from 3.58 percent of the state to 3.75 percent. Those areas include much of Jefferson County, parts of Arkansas, Lonoke and Lincoln counties, and much of Miller County.
Some improvement is expected in Jefferson and surrounding counties because significant rain fell there after the cutoff for the latest report, said John Robinson, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in North Little Rock.
Last year in mid-August, more than half of the state was under an exceptional drought, the worst variety, and nearly 81 percent of the state was under at least an extreme drought.