Apr 25, 2014

Late to party (but still a drought)

We know that drought overtakes the swamp each spring,

But how long from year to year do drydown conditions persist?


The table above shows the duration of moderate (orange) and severe (red) drought in Big Cypress National Preserve, from 1991 to present.  Moderate drought is defined as the time of the year when the regional water table drops below the ground in the center of the cypress domes.  Severe drought is defined as the time of year when the regional water table drops 1 ft or lower below the center of the cypress domes.  We haven't seen severe drought in the swamp for three springs now.  But all it takes is a week of moderate drought for conditions conducive for wildfire to take hold.


This year the drought is sort of late to the party.

So far we've charted only a week of what I classify as moderate drought.


That's a far cry from the Year of the Jarhead but still dry enough for wildfire to spread.

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