Jun 30, 2015

Summer fires?

It's prescribed burning season in the swamp,
but lightning-ignited fires can still occur in summer, too

Most recent is Hansen Fire near Raccoon Point

Jun 29, 2015

S-140 Pump Station

Just north of I-75 looking East
Tailwater side looking Southwest

L28 Borrow Canal

Upstream view of weir (Northwest)

Downstream view of weir (Southwest)

Jun 28, 2015

Line drawn in the water?

You've heard of a line drawn in the sand.

That's what the weir in the canal does below.

Just south of I-75 looking west
Now when the S-140 is pumping (north of the bridge),

Water south of the weir can hold its ground.

Sometimes a simple line of cement is all it takes.

Jun 26, 2015

Then and now

Mid May and late June
inside the  same  dome

True center of dome

Deeper than even the pond apple forest,

Is the alligator hole in the middle of this dome.

The distant marsh marks
the center of the cypress dome

Late May I could walk to its banks.

Today I was content with this distant view.

Jun 25, 2015

Trip into center of dome

I was surprised at Racoon Point ...

To see how deep water was in this dome.

Outside dome looking in

Midway in dome looking in toward pond apple 
center (left) and looking out to cypress
fringe (right) from vantage of same
cypress knee in foreground.

Inside pond apple forest looking toward
the open marsh center of dome

Despite all the water on the ground,

The resurrection fern was noticeable dry.

It had been a few days at least since it rained on this spot.

Jun 24, 2015

Drought to flood

That didn't take long,
At least in this spot

Jun 23, 2015

June rains are critical

It's been a good few years ...

Since we've had a big June rain.

The above chart displays a history of  June rainfall  totals in Big Cypress National Preserve from 1990 to 2013.  This June has about a week left.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, June rainfall totals routinely topped 10 inches.  In 2005 the June record high was set (20 inches.)  Recent years have been well off that mark (i.e. down) in comparison, most notably in 2011 and 2012 when just over 5 inches fell Big Cypress National Preserve wide. That perpetuated and extended the spring drought practically to the Fourth of July.

Last year's June total was almost 9 inches -- not bad.

The fate of this wet season could turn on how close we get to that ten (10) inch mark in the next week.

Summer pattern

Here's a simplified cartoon of how south
Florida's afternoon sea breeze showers unfold
over the course of a day

Jun 19, 2015

Lake's most memorable year?

We're at that time of year ...

When Lake O can start to rise.

This hydrograph shows current  stage  in Lake O
compared to recent and high water years of note

The Lake's biggest and most rapid rise (4 ft) came following Fay (2008).

It's effect was muted because the antecedent condition was so low (i.e. below 11 ft).

Isaac's in 2012 was also memorable but rose stage in a relatively empty lake.

This calendar chart show the  full history  of water stage
in Lake Okeechobee from 1960 to present

More memorable for me was when 2004.

That's when the Lake touched up at 18 ft and rose 6 feet in the wake of Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne.

As for 1998? That was an El NiƱo spring.

Interesting, too, but not memorable because I wasn't here.