RALEIGH — A weekly federal drought map shows recent rains have helped ease dry conditions across North Carolina.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday showed only 12 counties in the "extreme drought" category, including Mecklenburg and surrounding areas and Cherokee County in the state's southwest corner.
Last week, 45 counties were in the extreme category.
Drought categories are abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. No counties have been listed in the exceptional category since March 4.