Dec 19, 2013

Shades of dry

South Florida's winter half of the year is as reliably dry ...

As its summer half is reliably wet:

The above chart shows week-by-week rainfall (in inches) over the past six dry seasons for Big Cypress National Preserve.  The meteorological dry season typically starts in mid October and ends in late May.  Winters have tended to be drier over the past eight years (since 2005) compared to the 15 years that preceded it. 

But how dry is dry?

The chart above provides a week-by-week account of our last six dry seasons.  The past two dry seasons ('11-'12 and '12-'13) were drier-than-normal up until the end when timely spring rains bounced us out of drought.  That's in contrast to three dry seasons ago (i.e. '10-'11: The Year of the Jarhead Wildfire) when drought-saving spring rains failed to materialize ... and then to make matters worse the start of the wet season was delayed.  Four dry seasons ago ('09-'10) a prevailing El Niño kept brought regular frontal rains, thus keeping the winter swamp unusually wet.  The dry season before that ('08-'09) was another deep drought, i.e. The Year of the Deep Fire, but unlike in Spring 2011 the wet season started up right on time (and with a bang) at the end of May.

This year is still too early to tell.

I would call it pewter gray (so far).

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