Sep 28, 2011

Florida's rainiest month?

Is September Florida's wettest month?

Pond apple are still at their peak ...
But waters could start subsiding soon.

It is the last pure month of the summer "wet season." Hurricanes can still strike the peninsula in October or November, but baring an El Niño in the air, those months tend to lump in the dry season.

Most water bodies "peak" in September as a result.

While tabulating rainfall "statewide" may seem like a stretch ...
This data record is quite long:

It goes back to 1895.

But to answer the question:

Scanning through the historical record, i.e., the black dots in the calendar graph above, September does lay claim to two of Florida's three rainiest months on record:

September 1979 and September 2004.

Both months had two hurricane-strength storms make landfall in Florida: 

Hurricane David and Frederic in the case of September 1979 and Frances and Jeanne in September 2004.

View from Shark Valley Tram after Fay

The other Big Rain Month Goliath, i.e. the third black dot, is August 2008.

Tropical Storm Fay wasn't hurricane strength, but what it lacked in high-wind gusts it made up for in turtle-slow speed: it crawled across almost every part of Florida (except Tampa) in a five-day slow motion parade.

The result was a fully flooded Everglades into the fall as shown above.


j.a.lauritsen said...

Bob - you do a fantastic job on compiling and presenting this data. This is so well done. While I don't use it every month, I do rely on it, and find it to be a valuable source for my work at Corkscrew. Keep up the great work.

Jason Lauritsen

Unknown said...

Thanks Jason! It's been fun collaborating with you on Corkscrew hydrology over the years. BTW, I just check up on Lake Trafford. For as high as waters have been in The Big Cypress I was surprised to see the Lake so low.