Drought Monitor map released on May 2, 2013.
Drought Monitor map released on May 2, 2013.

Spring rains helped some key agricultural states loosen the drought’s stranglehold, but with summer less than two months away, concern lingers.

The latest Drought Monitor report, released on Thursday, shows that 46.9 percent of the nation is in moderate or worse drought. This is slightly improved from last week’s 47.3 percent.

In the Corn Belt, where drought has persisted extensively since last fall, a surge of wetter weather systems have helped alleviate some of the drought’s pressure.  

Nebraska, once cloaked with extensive drought, now shows signs of improving. Currently 77 percent is in extreme to exceptional drought, down considerably from 96 percent reported at the beginning of the year.  

South Dakota has showed similar reprieve from the drought’s grasp with 21 percent reported in extreme drought, down from 29 percent last week.

Not all states are as lucky. Some – like Oklahoma and Kansas – are states split by drought. In areas were conditions are improving, primarily in the eastern half of both states, the end to the drought could be near. But for those where little relief is seen, conditions only continue to worsen.

In Oklahoma, 31 percent is in extreme drought, with the majority of this intense drought located in western areas of the Sooner State.

Colorado and Texas will soon be dominated the headlines as the drought deepens. Further to the west drought is also becoming a bigger story. Click here to read more.