Forecast: South Florida Dry Season May See Fair Share Of Damp Days
Above-average wet season rainfall across some key areas of South Florida has positioned water levels well at the start of the dry season. The 2014-2015 dry season is forecast to have normal to above-normal rainfall, officials announced at a joint briefing by the South Florida Water Management District and the National Weather Service.
Dry Season Forecast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center forecast calls for normal to above-normal rainfall conditions.
Among the forecast highlights for the 2014-2015 South Florida dry season:
- A 60% to 65% chance of El Niño conditions developing in the fall and winter. An El Niño, a warming of waters in the equatorial Pacific, can increase the amount of rainfall in South Florida
- Normal storminess/severe weather with five to six events
- Normal freeze of at least one per season
Wet Season Update
A District-wide average of 33.58 inches of rain fell from Orlando to the Florida Keys between May 27 and Oct. 5. This represents 108% of average, or 2.45 inches above average.
The Lower Kissimmee Basin experienced the largest amount of rainfall above average in the District, with 35.58 inches, representing 129% of average, or 7.92 inches above average. This rainfall significantly contributed to the flow of water into Lake Okeechobee.
Rainfall totals included:
- Upper Kissimmee, 39th wettest out of 77 years
- Lower Kissimmee, 22nd wettest out of 77 years
- Lake Okeechobee, 35th wettest out of 77 years
Lake Okeechobee received 29.49 inches of rain during the wet season, representing 112% of average, or 3.21 inches above average. The District continues to send water south of the lake to help prevent major releases to the South Florida’s coastal estuaries.
Counties along the east coast all experienced above-average rainfall, ranging from 4.02 to 1.11 inches above average, from Martin and St. Lucie counties to eastern Miami-Dade County.
Areas in the Southwest Coast and Caloosahatchee experienced slightly below-average rainfall, with 1.07 and 3.37 inches below average, respectively.