MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s one bright side to the dark clouds we’ve seen day after day — a better drought outlook.

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Meteorologist Matt Brickman said while some of the state is still in a severe drought, recent moisture has helped make big improvements.

“The thing is, the drought was so bad that even with all that snow we had over the winter, and all the rain we’ve had over the last four weeks, we’re still playing catch-up,” he said.

Currently, a moderate to severe drought still covers a quarter of the state.

“Which still sounds bad, but is dramatically better than where we were last year,” Brickman said.

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This time last year, it was a third of the state.

There’s a simple reason why the last four months of rain won’t help overnight.

“We’ve been seeing 2-3 inches of rain at a time,” Brickman said. “When you get that, you get a lot of runoff — it doesn’t get a chance to soak into the ground.”

Still, sprinklers haven’t been necessary lately, and gardens are quite green.

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As for how this rain affects lake levels, Brickman said it’s going to take more than we’ve seen to actually change the level of the lake.