- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Rains across Oklahoma in April helped ease drought conditions in parts of the state, including drought-stricken western Oklahoma.

Climatologist Gary McManus with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey said Friday that four to six inches of rain fell statewide and west-central Oklahoma received an average of 7.6 inches of rain - more than five inches above normal. A total of 13.2 inches of rain fell at Cheyenne in western Oklahoma.

The U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday reported 24 percent of the state remained in extreme to exceptional drought, down from 40 percent at the beginning of April.

McManus said the rains also lifted water levels in reservoirs in western Oklahoma with lakes Canton, Altus-Lugert, Tom Steed and Foss each rising by a foot or more, although the lakes remained below normal levels.

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