Dry Season Finally Getting Upper Hand in the Sunshine State
This past year’s active hurricane season brought piles of precipitation to the Florida peninsula. Water managers, farmers, and residents alike can attest. But that was then. While 12-month rainfall totals easily finished above average throughout the St. Johns River Water Management District’s (SJRWMD) 18-county service area, the district’s latest hydrological report also shows December rainfall was below average, especially from southern Lake County through Orlando to Daytona.
• The counties with the highest rainfall for the month included Nassau with 2.74 inches, Duval with 2.64 inches, and Alachua with 2.07.
• When analyzing annual rainfall totals, 12-month tallies are nearly 7 inches above average across the district.
Given the data, it appears the dry season is finally here. Conditions in the Upper Floridan aquifer at the end of December, however, were still in the high range except in the north, and portions of Central Florida, which were in the normal range. This is an improvement over last year where the winter months and early spring came up extremely dry, prompting multiple countywide water shortage warnings and burn bans.
Despite memories of Hurricane Irma inundation still fresh, and current water levels being in relative good shape, SJRWMD officials are still urging conservation and best management practices as the dry season continues to ramp up.