Rain connoisseur

Waiting on vintage 2008 wet season to ripen
Rain Or Shine Report for May 27
Did the wet season begin?

I’m not sure.

Late last week it looked like it had.

Rains were especially drenching at the SFWMD headquarters in West Palm Beach, topping out at 2.7 inches for the week. Even the Lake received around 1.5 inches of rain.

But here in Ochopee headquarters nary did a drop fall. Nor did it rain much throughout the southwest Coast, only about 0.5 inches worth.

But back to the question: did the wet season officially begin.

I would say no, not yet.
That rain wasn’t from our traditional summer rain machine. It had help from humid air flowing in from the south.

Now I’m hearing that some high pressure is moving through, and that will hold off the rains for at least a couple days.

I also heard word from a SFWMD meteorologist – Paul Trimble – that there’s an increased likelihood that we’ll have a drier-than-normal June. He points out that of all the wet season months, June is the most predictable.

Speaking of teleconnections, and extrapolating forecasts from them, did everyone catch the article on the Miccosukee lore that a big sawgrass bloom is an indicator of an active hurricane season to come.

I’m superstitious as much as the next guy, probably even more so, but so often don’t our superstitions uncover a hidden “fundamental truth” about the system that escapes our cognitive powers: an “Unknown Unknown,” to quote Donald Rumsfeld’s now famous musing on uncertainty.
That may be the case with the sawgrass bloom.
That article mentions that elevated air and coastal water temperatures could trigger elevated blooms.
The jury is still out to be sure, but a hydrologist leaves no predictive stone in the river unturned, whether it be pure science or part superstition.

Truth be told: Sometimes it’s a little bit of both.

And you lose credibility among certain crowds if you don’t know the story from all perspectives, whether to factor them or simply to rule them out.

That’s called leaving no stone left unturned.

Not to mention that forecasting is an intrinsically “iffy” business. Years of research sometimes boil down to nothing but indecision. That leaves the prediction in the hands of a good game-day hunch, or a flip of the coin.

The great thing about the water cycle is that it always reveals its hand as The Event Horizon turns the future into the past. Once that happens, it gets put into the history books, as the saying goes.

But that’s also when the real work begins:

Why, when and where the forecast went wrong, and how to tweek it for a better result next time.

In sports, we call that Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

Which brings me back to the question: has the wet season officially begun?

Truth be told, I duly noted some cumulonimbus clouds rising out of the Everglades, but those clouds and that rain never made it over my way. I still haven’t felt a drop of wet season rain.
Yes, I’ve heard “first hand accounts” from the hinterlands – on the east coast, and up north over the Lake – of darkened skies and rain being released by the bucket loads.

But I’ll officially believe it when I officially get wet.

And I won’t call it the wet season until it is a home made version straight from our summer rain machine, not the imported variety from The Tropics.

Call me a rain drop connoisseur:

If it’s not vintage drop from native sea-breeze fed winds, gently pushed from the east by the clock-wise circulating Trade Winds of the Bermuda High, then it just doesn’t count.

It may be wet,

And yes, it counts toward the yearly rain total, …

But it’s just not vintage wet season rains, … at least not yet.

Post Script:

More on the rest of the system later this week.

I’ve recently added a new set of graphs to the web site that show annual flow volume, in millions of acre feet (1) per year and (2) per year-to-date. It’s a work in progress, but it’s a helpful tool for looking back into time and comparing across flows across the peninsula.

Sadly, or shall we say gladly, it doesn’t forecast the future.

It only counts the water that’s passed under the bridge.
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