Oct 18, 2017

Dethroned!

Well it took a while,

Almost 22 years to be exact.

Bar chart comparing this year's wet season
rainfall total (with 2 weeks to go)
with previous wet seasons
But we finally have a new rainiest wet season:

Summer of 1995 move over,


The wet season of 2017 (with 65 inches) has taken over the top spot.

Journey into the center of the dome

Can you see
the cypress dome
in the distance?

Here's a closer look
Now we're on the
inside looking out
Now we're on the
inside looking in
to the domes
deepest spot

Oct 16, 2017

The year of Irma

After a long wet season,

Waters have finally crested in the swamp.
Hydrograph of this year's
water stage (blue line) compared to
last year's (red line)
Make that a "high" crest.

Last time water was this high (up in the pines) for this long (4 months running) was 2005, i.e. the year of Wilma.

Historical calendar chart showing
where we are at now relative
to previous years

This year we'll be remembering as "The Year of Irma" even though it had a lot of help (i.e. 20 inches of June rainfall, and several other big rain events) along the way.


Sep 4, 2017

Florida Groundhog Day

South Florida doesn't have a winter, therefore by definition it can't have a Groundhog Day?

Or is it just hiding in plain sight instead?

Is that a cloud ... or Giant Groundhog?

Groundhog Day on the continent is a celebration that celestial winter is half way done. By contrast in south Florida we are content to never let winter never end.

Our summer on the other hand is another story.


What continental transplant (me included) hasn't at some point during Florida's unending summer craved a little dose of fall air, especially come Labor Day when friends and relatives from "up state" and "off peninsula" are just beginning to rejoice in the first of many rounds of crisp autumnal air. Meanwhile down on the south peninsula we are left to sweat out another six weeks of Old Man Summer. It usually isn't until Mid October that finally (and at long last) a cold front blasts through.

In my mind that's what makes Labor Day South Florida's Groundhog Day equivalent.


Only south Florida's groundhog doesn't emerge from ground to look for his shadow: It appears as giant cloud (see photo above) ...

Casting a shadow on us instead.

Sep 2, 2017

The problem with (cypress-connected canal) plugs

This is a view of one of six new (i.e. improved)
canal plugs on the west side of the L-28 levee,
looking North
Do you see how the plug is tied into cypress?
The canal can easily flow around the west end
of the plug as a result.
Here's a closer look at the flow-formed channel
where the plug and cypress meet, looking West

Aug 30, 2017

Emergency pumps

Up

Across

And down
the other side of
the L-28 Levee
All three photos were taken along the eastern boundary of Big Cypress National Preserve, a few miles north of US41 on the L-28 levee.  Emergency pumps were installed a few weeks ago to help lower high-water conditions in Water Conservation Area 3A (WCA3A). Top photo: Inlet side of one of four emergency pumps along the L-28, looking east into WCA3A.  Middle photo: On the inlet side of the pump looking west across the levee towards Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve.  Bottom photo: Freshet of water being released on the west side of the levee.

Aug 29, 2017

River of grass fed swamp

Water is gushing into Big Cypress Nat'l Preserve across the L-28.

To be exact, I counted 12 locations.

(1) S-12A looking southeast
Mile 0

(2) S-343B looking southwest
(That's the Tamiami Trail to the left)
Mile 1

(3) S-343A looking West
Mile 2

(4) First of four temporary
pumps, looking North
Mile 4

(5) Second of four temporary 
pumps, looking North
Mile 4

(6-8) Third and fourth of four temporary pumps
and the S-344, looking North
Mile 12

(6-8) Same spot as above
looking Southwest
Mile 12

(9) First of three breaks in the tieback
looking Northwest (the water in the gaps
flows from right left)
Mile 17

(10) Middle of three breaks 
in tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 17

(11) Third of three breaks 
in tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 18
(12) Northern terminus of L-28
Tieback, looking Northwest
Mile 19
More proof that the swamp isn't just a rain-driven watershed.

Next steps: How to get more?

Aug 28, 2017

Map of L-28

Color coding on this map
shows the approximate timeline
when the drainage infrastructure
around the L-28 was built

Aug 25, 2017

Rainy day swamp

A rain-fed watershed, yes ...

But the swamp depends on headwater flows too.


This video shows the two in action.