No(vember) rain

Normally we can count on …

About 43 inches of wet season rain.

A look at wet season rain totals
in Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve
over the years

By wet season, I mean the six-month span from May through October.

Compare that to the dry season half where the average is only twelve.

The only good news is with the cooler temperatures …

Evapotranspiration is finally starting to slow down.

swamp dictionary

True Florida Fall
Not to be confused with the calendar version

I know everyone’s excited about cold air about to move in.

But let’s put it in perspective, too.

Red bars indicated the five-day
forecast for Naples, Florida

Yes, it will be cooler (and delightfully crisp).

However, it will not meet the criteria for “official” Florida Fall.  For that to happen, nighttime low temperatures need to drop below 60° F for two consecutive nights in a row (source: Winsberg’s Florida Weather).  That’s when fall in Florida begins.

Nor will it meet the standard for an “official” Florida Winter Day.

For that to happen, daytime temperatures have to stay at 70° F or below.

Nonetheless, I’ll take the cool air!

Fall is delayed (until further notice)

South Floridians wait in eager anticipation …

For the first front of cool continental air to arrive.

Chart showing the frequency distribution
of when the first “official” cold front arrives
in Naples FL, by decade

The problem as of late:

Starting in the 2010s, the arrival of the first official cold front has slipped from October to November.  Or in other words, it’s happening later than normal.  The good news is a front of cooler air is finally on its way.  The bad news is that it will not count as an “official” front.

For that to happen, nighttime temperatures have to drop into the 50s for two consecutive nights.

End of long summer in sight?

September was strangely rainless,

And October was unusually hot.

Summer drags on in Naples, Florida

I hear cooler weather is headed our way this weekend.

Along with it I also hope it brings a front.

By front a mean some good rain!

Waiting game

What happens in Tallahassee in early October,

Usually takes until mid November for Naples to enjoy.

Map showing the progression
of “when fall starts”in Florida

Well, it’s November …

And we’re ready!

Note: Fall is formally defined in Florida as two consecutive days when nighttime lows drop below 60° F.

Marl moat goes dry (early)

During a wet October,

The “pine islands” are exactly as described.

Can you see
the pine island?

Little islands of high ground …

Surrounded by a shallow sea of flooded marl.

Not this year.

Same view
without the water

The marl moat has long gone dry.

It’s not just the cypress that need water.

The pines also need the right dose, too.

Monumental difference (of one foot)

A foot of water may not seem like a lot …

But in the swamp it’s monumental.

That’s the same
cypress knee!

And not just because these photos were taken near Monument Campground.

No the hydrologic reason is this:

One foot means the difference between a flooded (left) and dry (right) dome.