90 days of 200%

Rain is measured in inches,

But we commonly think of it in percentages …

Or at least you hear it said that way.


That can be confusing here in the sunshine state since the normal allotment of winter rain varies from north to south.

The panhandle is wetter (and cloudier),

Whereas down on the peninsula – especially its southern tip – is sunny and dry (and warm) most all winter long.

That raises the question:

Have the El Nino rains evened out the spread?

In a word – no … at least, that is, if you measure by inches.


In terms of percentages it’s a different story.

Pensacola may have “out precipitated” Naples by a good twenty inches over the past 90 days (I can’t say rain since the panhandle had to dig out of a paper-thin powdering of snow last week) …

But in terms of percentages both metropolises are at around 200 percent above normal.

That raises an even cloudier question of what exactly is “normal?”

While El Nino winters may be cloudier and rainier,

The normal winter day in the Everglades is sunny and dry.


I’m not even sure we can lay claim to El Ninos bringing more fronts.

Rather the ones we do get have more rain with them.

(Last winter’s fronts were cold but rainless.)

What we can say – especially for south Florida – is this:

El Nino brings a chance for a higher frequency of rain events, even if as a “percent” those days still lie in the minority –

And of course sunny skies remain the “norm.”

As for the Panhandle, it’s cloudy and wet – and downright cold – all winter long,

Which, from the look of the map, appears to be “100 percent normal” …

If not 200.

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