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Severe drought appears in parts of Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - Part of Wisconsin is in a severe drought for the first time since the massive Drought of 2012 ended this spring. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor said Thursday that almost all of Dunn County in western Wisconsin is in a severe drought -- and so are parts of nearby Eau Claire, St. Croix, Pierce, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, and Clark counties. 

All told, about 6.5 percent of Wisconsin's land area is in a severe drought. It's the Drought Monitor's third-worst category. 

Another 28 percent of the state is in a moderate drought. That includes a large west-central region bounded by Burnett County, Marshfield, Columbus, Prairie du Chien, and most of the state's western border.  Another 24 percent is abnormally dry, including all of southern Wisconsin and a narrow line from Sheboygan to Superior.  

Almost 41 percent of Wisconsin is drought-free. That's about the northeast third of the Badger State. 

The state's been plagued by a lack of rain since the start of July.  It has not rained at all this week in most of Wisconsin. 

The National Weather Service says the next chance for rain is a chance Friday afternoon and evening -- and again on Saturday.