Rains like clockwork

Afternoon rains have kicked in like clockwork in August.

This chart shows a comparison of this year’s daily rainfall (for Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve) compared to the daily median for the past dozen years.

Why median and not average?

Median gives a clearer and truer signal of our wet season rainfall pattern. The average skews in favor of happen chance big rainfall events. For example, that big 1.5 inch rain day in April (actually a few fell in at over an inch) doesn’t change the fact that the long-term median for those days is still “zero,” even though the average would record a “positive” value.

In fact, if you just went by the numbers and paid no attention to the multi-layered atmospheric stew and all its machinations, a simple way to define the wet season is as the 4-5 months of the year when the long-term median rainfall shows a “positive” value.

The dry season is then when it returns to “zero.”

Or almost.

Don’t forget that tropical storms are chance events too and often strike in October and November after the sea breeze and convectional heating (i.e. wet season) has closed down for the fall.

That’s when the chart says STOP and the sky keeps GOing!

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