Steady as a “Lake?”

Remember when the Lake free flowed into the Everglades?

Me neither.

This calendar chart shows the rise and fall of Lake Okeechobee’s water level from 1990 to present.  Larger blue data points show times when water was high and warmer colors show time when drought struck.  The green dots indicate when Lake stage fell in the desired middle spot.  Can you see what happened to the Lake in the wake of the giant El Nino of 1998?

But I do remember the levee threatening and unleashing of water to the estuary crests following Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 and Wilma in 2005.  Since then the Lake has been relatively well tamed.  Not once has it risen above 17 feet.  And I also remember the past couple long stretches of drought, the biggest and longest being the one that persisted through most of 2007 and 2008.

Either water managers have gotten better or the weather has more behaved. For the past five years the Lake has been more in the middle …

Than teeter tottering at either extreme. 

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