Historic Rainfall Hampering South Florida Farms

Historic Rainfall Hampering South Florida Farms

When weather forecasters predicted a wetter-than-normal dry season for South Florida, they weren’t kidding. According to South Florida Water Management District officials, rainfall in the region was nearly 350% above average in January.

Flooded vegetable field in South Florida

Photo courtesy of FDACS

The two previous months proved to be the relative calm before the storm with November tallying an impressive 139% above average precipitation, followed by December’s dousing, which equaled 199% above average.

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“South Florida farmers are reeling from biblical proportions of rainfall and flooding over the past few days, weeks and months as a result of El Niño,” stated Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. “With record amounts of rainfall over the last three months, and above average rainfall expected for the next several months, the long-term impacts to South Florida’s agriculture community could be devastating. We’re currently in communication with the South Florida Water Management District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to monitor the situation and provide support to the impacted communities as needed.”

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, there’s nearly a 100% chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter and gradually weaken through spring.