Winter rains ease South Maui drought conditions

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Months of rain have brought relief to severe drought conditions in South Maui.

The National Weather Service says winter rain in January and February helped lift three-year "extreme" and "severe" drought warnings.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, South Maui now falls under the "moderate" drought category.

The Maui News reported Tuesday that although South Maui has enjoyed wet weather, rain continues to fall below normal levels in the West Maui Mountains.

National Weather Service Hydrologist Kevin Kodama says the last time there was a prolonged severe drought event in Maui County was in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

Kodama says from January through February, there has been a two-level drop in the drought status for Makena, Kihei, Wailea and up-slope areas.

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