Low-water summer?

It’s wet in the swamp to be sure,

But not “water in the pines” mid September like we’d normally expect.

The calendar chart above displays the history of surface water flooding in Big Cypress National Preserve from 1991 to present. It reads like a page of a book — years from top to bottom and months from left to right. Cooler colors (light and dark blue) indicate times when the water table is at its peak and warmer colors show when the water table is dropping down into the cypress and below ground. The driest times are shown by no colors at all — they are the spaces on the calendar chart in spring when deep drought strikes. Can you see on this summer’s line of data (so far) that the pines have yet to get wet?

It’s too early to jump to conclusions yet.  We have a couple days of high rain probability forecast as I type.  Looking back in the historic record, the calendar years of 2007 and 2010 had notably lower-than-normal wet seasons.  Those years didn’t get their pines wet and — not coincidentally — each was followed by an early onset of dry season drought.  Spring of 2008 was saved by a mammoth deluge in early February, but Spring 2011 had no such luck: deep drought took hold for over three straight months.

I’m holding out hope this recent rain pops us up in the pines.

Keep you fingers crossed!

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