EAU CLAIRE ̶ Drought conditions remained relatively stable in the Midwest last week, with slight improvement in some areas.

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s report released Thursday shows about one-third of the region is in some stage of drought. Iowa is the hardest hit state, with 95 percent of the land is drought-stricken. But even there experts saw some improvement. Last week, less than 1 percent of the land was drought free. The figure is now 5 percent.

The monitor said much of eastern Iowa and central Illinois saw “3 to 6 inches of precipitation” last week, though it also noted that the areas of deepest drought in Iowa saw no rain.

“Light to moderate precipitation elsewhere kept conditions generally unchanged from last week,” it said.

Illinois also saw improvement, with drought areas falling to 57 percent of the land. And most of that is in the first stage, where the monitor notes abnormally dry conditions. A similar picture emerges in Indiana, where drought currently involves about half the state.

Conditions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan remained largely unchanged.