Decades of data

The weather comes and goes.

Wet season, dry season, wet season … the cycle never ends.

Each day we wake up and look at the sky to tell us what to wear,

Or even if we don’t do that explicitly, the sky looks down at us and casts its spell – in the form of clouds and shine, cold or warm – on what our mood may be

But the weather passes, and so too do we forget.

Or do we?

A hydrologist looks at the sky and never forgets.

Or at least tries not too.

And that knowledge is passed on from one hydrologist to the next until you have decade upon decade of water data.

That’s what you see on the graph below, for Southwest Florida.

It shows monthly rainfall totals going back all the way to 1930.
That was back in the day when Everglades City, not Naples, was still the county seat of the newly created Collier County
And the Tamiami Trail was almost brand new, shuttling its traffic across the Everglades – back and forth from Miami to Naples – after 13 years in the making. ,
The size and color of the dots indicate the amount of rain. (Black and red dots are the “big rain months.”)

And you chronologically read it just like a book: from top to bottom for the years and from left to right for the months.

Does south Florida have a wet season?

You better believe it.
And they come and they go … they come and they go.

But a hydrologist never forgets.

Today, by the way, I woke up and looked at the sky:

Very humid … and cloudy.
I grabbed my umbrella just in case.
(It rains during the dry season you know!)
Rain data is courtesy of South Florida Water Management District.

You can check out more skywatch images from around the world at the skywatch site.

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