Nov 23, 2014

Ghost farmers in the sky

Swamp buggies sort of resemble tractors ...

But the days of farming The Big Cypress are long gone.

Now you see them ...
Yes, the furrows appear visible from the sky.

But from ground level you'd swear they weren't there.

Now you don't
Sometimes you have to be far away to properly focus in.

"Get your swamp tomatoes here!"

Farms are gone, but the outlines
of the furrows still remain

as seen along Tamiami Trail looking south

Nov 21, 2014

Early water management?

Relic pump and culvert
used to help drain water
from farm fields

Cypress and pine mosaic

It's pretty much all pines
and cypress domes in this part
of the Big Cypress Swamp

When a little goes a long way

Just two days of rain in November?

That's all we needed to boost water levels into the normal range.

Water levels are dropping,
But they are still high relative to the full annual cycle,
and normal for this time of year.

Here's a historical comparison going back to 1992.

This graph provides a fuller historical view
of where the water table is now relative to
the past 25 years

The rain also ushered in our first two days of winter ...

As shown below.

Nov 20, 2014

Sweater weather pounds Naples, FL

It's official:

Naples has recorded its first two days of winter!

By winter I mean the daily high -- now two times in November -- didn't rise above 70° F.  On average, Naples gets about 18 such days each winter. In the winter of 2009-2010 we had a whopping 45 such days, three times the long-term average.  Two years later in the winter of 2011-2012 was a warm winter in comparison: Only 8 days didn't rise above 70° F.

Note to reader:

Northerners may take exception to my definition of winter.

Winter has arrived (... sort of)

The chart above shows a history of "cold days" in Naples, Florida from 1940 to present.  Anywhere you see a green dot indicates a day that the daily high didn't rise above 70° F.  Blue dots indicate days that the daily high didn't rise above 60° F.  Red dots -- a once in a decade rarity -- indicate days that the daily high didn't rise above 50° F.  So far this year we've had two winter days, i.e. the daily high didn't rise above 70° F.

Nov 19, 2014

Color-coded rain table

The long-term November rainfall average for The Big Cypress is 1.8 inches.

We reached that level with just two days of rain this year.

Click on to enlarge

Color-Coded Table of Rainfall Totals
in Big Cypress National Preserve
from 1989 to present

But that's typical for the dry season.

Most days are predictably either sunny or dry.

It's only the rare event when a passing (or stalled) fronts moves in that south Florida gets winter rain.

Coldest night arrives?

The graph above reports recent high and low air temperatures for Naples Florida.  The gray background shows the long-time average and record high and low temperatures as calculated from 1950 to present.  Two ways you know its cold in Naples: (1) Daytime highs don't rise above 70° F and (2) nighttime lows drop below 50° F.  Cold by Naples standards at least.

Nov 18, 2014

Naples eludes northern freeze

Not that temperatures in Naples aren't dropping ...

They just aren't dropping as fast (or low) as on the Continent.

This graph shows high and low air temperatures
at select places along the US Atlantic Coast

As the continental US is rapidly dropping into true winter mode, Naples is settling into its comfortable non-summer-half-of-the-year season. Daytime highs are hovering in the high 70s and nighttime lows are dropping into the 50s.  Compare that to continental-bound Boston, Baltimore and Atlanta which each have lower daytime highs than Naples Florida has nighttime lows and nighttime lows that are dropping near the freezing mark.

Tallahassee straddles the two extremes:

It's daytime highs track with the Florida peninsula and its nighttime lows with the continent above.