LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -

Rains that fell across much of Texas this past week have improved drought conditions in some of the driest parts of the state.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows the driest designations in parts of the Panhandle improved one stage - to extreme drought.

The rain helped lake levels statewide slightly; the lakes were about 67 percent full Thursday, the highest percentage in the past 16 months.

Despite the good rains, about 23 percent of Texas remained in extreme and exceptional drought - the two driest stages on the weekly map.

The rains in the Panhandle, South Plains and around Wichita Falls provided short-term relief from the persistent drought, which is in its fourth year.

May and June normally are the wettest months in Texas.