Drought-Busted Sunshine State Still on the Dry Side

Drought-Busted Sunshine State Still on the Dry Side

This year’s dry season certainly lived up to its name in Florida — and then some. And even though the days of burn bans and brush fire battles seem like a distant memory following June’s monsoons and a tropical storm-enhanced July, areas around the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) are technically still recovering from spring’s dry spell.

According to SJRWMD Executive Director Ann Shortelle, despite July rainfall being slightly above average, the district is still running at a deficit for the year. With that, the district’s Water Shortage Warning Order will remain in place.

Noteworthy rainfall reports from across the SJRWMD in July include:

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SJRWMD rainfall map for July 2017

Graphic courtesy of SJRWMD

  • In North Florida, Duval County received 7.67 inches, which is 1.28 inches above average. Baker, Nassau, and Putnam counties all received below-average rainfall for the month.
  • Parts of Central Florida received above-average rainfall for the month. Seminole County had 9.6 inches, 2.40 inches above average. Orange County received 1.01 inches above average and Lake County received 1.59 inches above average.
  • Brevard and Indian River counties were both above average, receiving 7.0 inches and 8.27 inches of rain, respectively.

The districtwide Water Shortage Warning Order was originally issued in March due to below-average rainfall. It is in place to encourage all water users to reduce usage and increase conservation tactics, as well as reinforce implementation of farm best management practices.

Parts of the Southwest Florida Water Management District and South Florida Water Management District received well above-average rainfall in July, thanks in large part to Tropical Storm Emily.

The aquifer will continue to rebound if the wet season maintains its current pace. Something else to keep in mind, the peak of hurricane season doesn’t occur until mid-September.