DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Colorado’s drought is getting worse, with unusually dry conditions across more than 85 percent of the state.

(credit: CBS)

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report released Thursday shows conditions are worst in the southwest corner of the state, where all or parts of about 20 counties are listed in an exceptional drought, the worst of four categories.

The Drought Monitor’s map shows more than 16 percent of the state is in exceptional drought, up from 13 percent a week earlier and 9 percent three months ago.

About 32 percent of the state is in the next-worst category, extreme drought.

Mesa Verde National Park (file photo by iStock/Getty Images Plus)

For Denver and the entire Interstate 25 corridor north of Pueblo, the area remains “abnormally dry,” which is the precursor to drought.

Denver is officially more than 5 inches below normal with precipitation in 2018. For comparison, Durango is approaching 8 inches below normal.

Severely dry conditions extend across the Southwestern U.S. Parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah are also classified as being under exceptional drought.

CBS4’s Ashton Altieri added additional information to this Associated Press story.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)