11 months of rain

We still have a month to go on the calendar
before we can call it a year,

But here in Florida, December (3 inch avg) is a dry month.

That has me thinking:

How has 2009 (so far) stacked up to previous rain years?

The rainiest year goes to 1947 – topping the list at over 70 inches – thanks in large part to the Ft Lauderdale hurricane which, among other things, pushed waters up in Lake Okeechobee to 20 ft above sea level and inspired a 25-year redesign of the canal and levee system throughout the Everglades.

The driest years on the list include 1954-56, 1990, 2000 and 2006, each of which registered less than 45 inches, and the last two of which dropped the lake below 9 ft.

This year is on the verge of breaking above 50 inches (rains in December willing),

But who says a single number for all of Florida is any good anyhow?

The more accurate picture is a bit more complicated.

This year the western panhandle was the wettest (thanks to Ida) and the space coast has been the driest. Tampa is hoping the winter El Nino will break it out of a four year drought.

For that to happen we’ll need a change in the weather:

It’s been a dry fall so far down on the peninsula.

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