Heavy rains have helped ease drought conditions in Alabama, but about one-third of the state remains unusually dry. The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows about two-thirds of the state is drought-free, a big improvement from just a few weeks ago. But a third of the state remains abnormally dry or in a drought. Dry conditions cover a wedge-shaped area extending from the Hale-Bibb county line eastward to the Georgia line. Conditions are worst in about a dozen counties that include the Auburn area.