More than half of North Carolina is now is the most severe category of drought.
A weekly report from the U.S. Drought Monitor says that 55 of the state's 100 counties are now experiencing an "exceptional" drought. In all, 47 counties moved to "exceptional" from "extreme" drought conditions in the latest report.
Among those now listed in the worst category are the Triangle area counties of Wake, Johnston, Durham and Orange.
In the rest of the state, 31 counties are still in extreme drought, while 11 have severe drought conditions.
In Eastern Carolina, Pamlico, Carteret & Hyde counties remain the only parts of the state still under moderate drought conditions.