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Drought continues to be a problem in western Wisconsin

NEILLSVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - Western Wisconsin continues to be in the grip of a severe drought. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday that just over 18 percent of the state's land area is severely dry, same as a week ago. 

Parts of 14 western counties are the driest, bordered roughly by Turtle Lake, Neillsville, Wisconsin Dells, Viroqua, and the Mississippi River from Vernon to Polk counties. 

A wet spring brought an end to the previous drought from 2012, but dry weather since July brought those conditions back. Almost 60 percent of Wisconsin is abnormally dry or worse, almost one percent more than a week ago. 

Just over 40-percent of the state is drought free, northeast of a line from Superior to Sheboygan.

Parts of Wisconsin got rain Thursday morning, when a wave of thunderstorms went through. Ontario in Vernon County picked up more than an inch. 

Southeast Wisconsin was getting heavy rain late Thursday morning. Forecasts there called for 1 to 2 inches Thursday morning. 

Another wave of storms is due in statewide late Thursday afternoon through early Friday.