Precipitation turned upside down

Mention the word precipitation to a Floridian …

And the first thing that comes to mind is “rain.”

Evapotranspiration outpaces rainfall during south Florida’s dry season

But rain isn’t the only show in town dictating how the swamp’s water responds.

There’s also evapotranspiration which – starting in spring – starts to switch on to full gear.

The black bar in the graph shows what I call net precipitation as computed week after week from May 2008 to present. The background blue shows recorded weekly rainfall as a basin-wide average for the swamp and the background red shows an estimate of evapotranspiration over the same week.

A week of no rain means a seven days of unfettered evapotranspiration.

String a couple of those together during the spring turns precipitation on its head.

What looks like blue sky and sun to most …
is just rain falling upside down to me.

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