Sep 15, 2011

Water cycle of the Tortoise and the Hare

South Florida’s water cycle ...
resembles the Tale of the Tortoise and the Hare.

Rainfall is fast and evaporation is slow ...
over a year they usually balance out.

Rainfall is the Hare.

Summer rains are drenching and drainage of the swamp’s flat landscape poor. That causes water to rise rapidly and stay there through the summer and into early fall.

But come mid October the wet season ends.

That’s when the Hare falls asleep and the dry season begins.

The Hare sprints ahead from late May into early fall

Enter the Tortoise:

Evapotranspiration is slow and steady worker – some would say inexorable. As dry season weeks turn into months and the Tortoise marches on, by some point in the winter and definitely by spring pretty much all the water in the swamp is gone.

Or in other words, drought.

Even worse:


The Tortoise is slow and steady all year long

But not so fast.

The Hare wakes up in May and a new wet season begins.

The water cycle has no beginning or end.

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