September is usually one of the wettest months of the year in Florida, with it bringing the peak of the hurricane season. This year though, some parts of the Sunshine State are seeing drought conditions take over – way out ahead of the dry season.
According to data collected by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), September rainfall across the region was below average overall – even with Hurricane Dorian factored in. Additionally, drought conditions are developing in North Florida, with Baker County experiencing the worst of it so far.
Besides Baker, Alachua and Nassau counties in the North-Central part of the state received the least rainfall; while Flagler along the coast had the most rainfall with 5 inches, which is still well below the average for September, SJRWMD officials report.
Alachua, Clay, Duval, Putnam, and St. Johns counties are abnormally dry, while Nassau County is in moderate drought and Baker County is in the severe drought range.
Florida’s dry season normally doesn’t kick in until late fall. The latest winter forecast from NOAA is predicting normal precipitation chances for the Southeast U.S. (including Florida) from Dec. 2019 through Feb. 2020. Temperatures are expected to be above normal.