Welcome to Spring
Where Go Hydrology probes into the meaning of drought
Campfire talk on the spring nosedive
Florida’s wet and dry seasons …
Are comparable to the race between the Tortoise and the Hare.
Think of the hare as the hard-pounding summer rains.
That’s when the swamp rapidly floods over and fills up and the Hare pulls ahead with a far lead.
But just when it looks like the Hare all but won the race …
By most metrics,
It’s been a rainy dry season.
But that’s only because of November (i.e. TS Eta).
You know it’s dry when …
You can cross a canal without getting wet.
Well, maybe not all canals.
The L-28 Interceptor is a good ten feet deep.
But as wet as that looks,
Canal stage is 3 feet below the ground surface the swamp ecosystem it bisects.
Not all gators can make it to the above canal.
Even the borrow ponds they depend on in deep drought are drying up.
I know that gators aren’t the most cuddly of creatures,
But they deserve water in the ecosystem which is their home.
Verdict: canals and levees conspire to amplify the severity of seasonal drought.
Typically it isn’t until Memorial Day …
That the summer wet season rains reliably start.
|Chart showing where we are now|
and when we can expect the reliable
summer rains to start
That doesn’t mean we may not get some rains here and there,
And who knows, maybe even a good few consecutive days.
But more than likely reliable rain is a good 6-8 weeks away.
Don’t blame it on the plants,
But their springtime transpiration is partly the cause.
|March is the month that|
the water table starts to nose dive.
As pretty as the green trees look.
They also consume a lot of water.
Currently, the water table is almost touching down at the swamp’s typical low water mark.
The catch is that usually happens in mid May.
Last I looked at the calendar that’s a full two months away.
Or in other words, it could be a deep (and long) spring drought.
To be sure,
The dry season is not over yet.
We still have another two months.
So it’s too early to predict a deep spring drought.
But now that the green out has begun,
A good 3-4 inches of dry season rain may be in store …
To boost us back into the long-term norm of around 11 inches of winter rain.