Field cracked and dry because of droughtAn active weather week delivered in excess of 10 inches of precipitation to parts of Texas, helping that state show improvements in drought conditions in the last week, according to Thursday’s update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. On the other end of the spectrum, now 83% of the western U.S. is facing drought conditions, now with the majority of California under “extreme” drought. The same is true for the northern Plains, where almost all of North Dakota and part of Montana and South Dakota is facing the same conditions. Moderate drought grew its grip on Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, with two pockets of severe drought in northwest Iowa and southwest Nebraska. The southern half of Nevada east through the Four Corners and through much of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico remain the hardest-hit parts of the country, Thursday’s map shows. See more from the latest Drought Monitor and see a direct comparison of Thursday’s map with the previous week’s.