Jun 8, 2011

Slow slog to major drought milestone

There’s all sorts of metrics out there for how dry it is,

Sometimes trying to describe them I get lost in the math.

You know it's a deep drought when even southern 3A goes dry!

But recently in the field a long-time swamp denizen put it in plain and simple terms that everyone could understand.

“I know it’s dry when I can’t airboat anymore.”

And that means anywhere, even the Everglades deepest spot –
Southern Water Conservation Area 3A.

This dry airboat trail is more fit for walking
Currently, waters there are 9 inches lower than the lowest point they had previously been since 1993 and 1.5 feet lower than the median level for early June. That may not seem all that dry, but it marks a hydrological milestone than rarely occurs:

Even there, the glades deepest spot, the sloughs have finally gone dry.

As a point of comparison, sloughs within WCA2 went dry in February, and April for WCA1 and Everglades National Park.  Here's an interactive map that gives a closer look.

As for walking the dry airboat trail:

I didn't get far.  After five minutes and an onslaught of mosquitoes I turned back. That's no country for getting anywhere fast without a propeller at your back.


Fred Ziffle said...

Robert, things are looking bad up here in central florida too. I've only seen the st johns this low once and that was many years ago.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Thanks Fred. The drought has a pretty good hold on the entire stat. Here's a map, courtesy of Florida's Division of Forestry that shows the latest drought index.

I'll post a hydrograph of the St Johns later this afternoon.

Janie said...

I can understand the man's simple statement, probably better than all the graphs.
I'll bet the mosquitoes and all the vegetation make walking difficult. An airboat would be much easier -- if the rains ever come.