As the dry season settles in across the Sunshine State, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) managers are anticipating a low risk of drought conditions or water supply shortages in the coming months.
Water levels are near the top of their normal ranges to start the dry season because of heavy rainfall at the start of 2016 and near-average wet season rainfall (including Hurricane Matthew), according to SFWMD officials.
The last 12 months (Nov. 15 – Oct 16.) was the wettest 12-month period since 1994-1995 and the second wettest 12-month period since 1959-1960. The wettest January since 1932 and near -average rainfall for much of the 16-county region during the wet season, spanning June 1 to Oct. 31, sustained water levels.
An average of 33.13 inches fell between Orlando and the Florida Keys during the wet season, representing 96% of average, or just 1.26 inches below average. The wet season ended with below-average October rainfall, with 3.21 inches representing 80% of average, or 0.80 inches below average.