After three long, dry summers, is the grip of the Texas drought finally beginning to recede?

  There is hope, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly summary of drought conditions.

  The latest Drought Monitor shows the eastern half of Bexar County not in any type of drought at all, only 'abnormally dry,' and western Bexar County is in the least serious of the four levels of drought.

  "Rains have served to kick the drought down," said Robert Mace with the Texas Water Development Board.  "The drought is still there, and the reservoirs are still extremely low, but it is good to see some improvements, especially this time of year, when it is usually very dry and very hot."

  Very hot we have, but there is rain in the metro San Antonio forecast for Friday.

  Mace says north Texas has gotten the most rain over the past week, and it is badly needed in a part of the state where many residents are drinking sewer water.

  "It has easily been one of the centers of drought," he said.  "We have been seeing some improvement there, but we are continuing to see low reservoir levels."

  About one third of the state today are in one of the three most serious categories of drought.  That is compared to two thirds of Texas in those stages this time last year.   About three percent of Texas, mainly in north Texas and the Panhandle are, in the worst category of drought today.  Three months ago, that figure was close to 13%.