Driest on record

Here’s a rainfall retrospective spanning the full history of the Big Cypress National Preserve.

I call it my “Pippi Longstocking” graph because the bars of annual rainfall resemble multi-colored stockings (perhaps in the style that Pippi Longstocking would wear) with each color change representing individual months.

Wet season months are indicated with “cool” colors (blues) and the winter dry season months are indicated with “warm” colors (yellows).

Another peculiarity of the graph (that may seem odd if you’re not from Florida) is that each bar starts at the bottom with the month of May, not January.

The reason for this is quite simple:

The south Florida water year starts in May. That’s when our summer rains begin after a long winter and spring of mostly blue sky.

Placing May on the bottom allows us to easily see how all six wet season months combined compare to the six dry season months that follows, even if the last four dry season months overlap into the following calendar year.

What’s the take home point?

This year’s dry season has been a record-breaking dry one for Big Cypress National Preserve. The dry season of 1970-1971 was drier, but it doesn’t count.

Why’s that?

Big Cypress National Preserve wasn’t established until 1974!

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