Rain helps ease drought in Panhandle; conditions worse in South Texas

More of South Texas is in the worst stage of drought, but recent rains have helped improve conditions elsewhere in the state.

Details are in the U.S. Drought Monitor map released today.

The map showed 11.5 percent of the state in exceptional drought -up from 7.1 percent last week.

The map shows 25.1 percent of Texas in extreme drought -- the second worst stage.

The rains moved parts or all of seven western Panhandle counties out of drought completely and helped extinguish wildfires in North Central Texas.

Areas of North Central Texas that were abnormally dry on last

week's map now are out of the drought.

The Associated Press reports burn bans remain in 161 of the state's 254 counties -- most of those west of Abilene.

Drought persists over 85.1 percent of Texas, down from 93.3 percent last week.