Apr 24, 2012

Stampede of the Big Rain Day

Last weekend was more than much needed rain …

It officially entered the realm of a Big Rain Day!

Last weekend's storm moved across south Florida
like a stampede of wild horses!

Although you won’t find it in Webster’s Dictionary …

A Big Rain Day is technically defined as any day in which on average – across every square inch of south Florida (including the Kissimmee River Basin) – at least an inch or more of rain was recorded within a 24 hour period.


But the blustery weekend weather was more than just that.

It’s the type of rain event that helps bridge the gap between the end of the dry season and the wet season’s start. To be sure, the wet season is still a few weeks ahead so we aren’t out of wildfire season just yet. However, every little bit helps when it comes to keeping the water table up and the surface, i.e. leaf litter, drying down.

The above chart highlights the hyperactive nature of south Florida's water cycle.  Blue color-coded rain drops indicated Big Rain Days, i.e. any day in which over an inch of rain on average fell south Florida wide.  South Florida averages about 4 or 5 of those per year.  Just as important are the Big Evapotranspiration (ET) Days, shown as orange color-coded suns on the chart above.  Synthesis:  It takes a long chain of Big ET Days send south Florida into drought whereas a Big Rain Day can bring instant (if also temporary) drought relief.

Bottom line:

I'm just happy to see a new blue mark on the chart!

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