The drought gripping much of the nation is "exceptional" — the most severe classification — in an area covering 6.26 percent of the lower 48 states, according to the latest data from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
That's up from 4.21 percent the week before.
The center's latest map shows increases in size of the areas in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Missouri that are experiencing exceptional drought conditions.
Meanwhile, there were slight — less than 1 percent point — changes in the sizes of areas suffering the less severe classifications: extreme, severe, moderate and abnormally dry (in descending order). And the amount of land where there are no dry conditions edged up to 22.32 percent from 21.86 percent last week.