South Florida Wet Season Gets Tropical Punch
As water managers tracked the Atlantic Hurricane Season’s first named system (Arthur), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) meteorologists reported the first month of the wet season tallied nearly average rainfall District-wide across 16 counties.
Tropical Storm Arthur churned parallel to the peninsula’s East Coast, delivering gusty winds and periodic rain bands along the coastal counties. The storm has strengthened into a hurricane as it moved northward toward the Carolinas and beyond. “Because of average June rainfall, the regional water management system had capacity to accept stormwater from the season’s first tropical system,” said Jeff Kivett, SFWMD director of operations, engineering and construction.
- For June, a total of 8.09 inches of rain fell District-wide from Orlando to the Keys, representing 98% of average, or 0.17 inches below average.
- Exceptions to the June average include Martin and St. Lucie counties, the wettest portions of the District with 9.57 inches of rain. This total represented 142% of average, or 2.81 inches above average.
- In contrast, the Southwest Coast received 7.44 inches of rain, representing 74% of average, or 2.55 inches below average.
- As of July 1, Lake Okeechobee stood at 12.98 feet NGVD, which is 0.41 feet below its historic average for this time of year. The lake received 8.14 inches of direct rainfall, representing 117% of average, or 1.16 inches above average.
Wet Season Forecast
The National Weather Service’s 2014 wet season forecast calls for:
• Near to slightly below-average precipitation, with June potentially being the
wettest month relative to normal.
• Above-normal temperatures, 1°F to 2°F, more noticeable in the
• El Niño to develop during the summer, which typically places South Florida in a transition zone between Caribbean dryness and slightly more precipitation across the Southeast U.S.