JOHN McFARLAND

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) -- Drought conditions are improving in Texas, which is enduring more than two years of the driest conditions in the nation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture drought monitor map released Thursday showed about 16 percent of the state is now classified under the most extreme two categories of drought.

That's down from last week's total of 25 percent of the state -- all areas in the southern portion of Texas.

The USDA review found no other place in the country is suffering under the two worst drought categories.

Heavy rains last week in the Austin-San Antonio area week helped ease conditions, although weather experts say plenty more is needed to put a dent in the brutal drought that began in September 2007.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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