Swamp mailbag

Question:

“I’m having trouble following what’s going on in the swamp. First a wet dry season, then a slow start to the wet season, now this no-name storm …

Can you sum it up in a single graph?”

Answer:

I think I can (… see above).

In summary, swamp stage has climbed another rung on the wetland ladder – that puts the wetting front up in the hydric pines – and sheetflow appears poised for a rebound. Sheetflow tends to top 1,000 cubic feet per second (as measured by the U.S. Geological Survey along the Tamiami Trail from Carnestown to Forty Mile Bend) during the core wet season months, but since July it’s been a trickle of its summer self. Look for that to change as the no-name rain slides on south.

As to how much higher will the swamps rise?

Currently, waters are still running good 4 inches below the typical wet season peak. As shown on the hydrograph, water stage and sheetflow tend to crest in September or early October, after which begins the slow and steady drop into the dry season.


But that’s thinking way ahead!

That no-name storm ushered us into the heart of our still sleepy (but soon to be waking up) hurricane season. William Gray recently elevated its severity outlook due to “warmer than pre-Katrina” waters churning out in the Atlantic. (see article)

BTW: You can follow the hydrograph featured above week after week as water levels unfold by clicking on the “Big Cypress Swamp” tab at the top of the page, or just click HERE.

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