temperature check

Summer’s final stretch
And why fall isn't here yet

Celestial fall officially started …

on September 21st.

Comparison of night and day time temperatures in Naples, Florida to farther “Up North”

But in south Florida,

it’s still a waiting game before autumn starts to kick in.

Daytime highs are still in the high 80s and night time lows are still above 70 degrees.

According the book Florida Winter, fall in Florida officially commences with the onset on two consecutive nights that drop below 60 degrees. The animated map below shows that typically happens around the fourth month of November for south Florida.

Animation of when fall “typically” arrives to the Florida peninsula

If that seems like a long wait,

Not to worry: Fall doesn’t happen in one fell swoop.

We get plenty of signs along the way.

big weather

Heart of the storm season?
By some metrics it still hasn't begun

Hurricane season is two months old …

But it isn’t until August the heart of the season really begins.

Chart showing monthly
distribution of hurricanes that
made landfall in Florida

Over 75 percent of the storms that make landfall in Florida at hurricane strength occur in the three month span of August, September and October.

September leads the way with over 40 percent.

Never a matter of “if”
Swamp finally begins rebound

Well, it took a little longer than expected …

But we knew it was coming.

At the midpoint, June rain totals halfway

And we could feel it before we could see it.

I knew the morning of the big rain something was up.

The humidity was as thick as pea soup.

Water is still a foot below normal for mid June

And I say that in a good way.

I eat a bowl of soup most every day (although usually not pea soup) and equally enjoyed walking in the rain later that evening.

That storm followed me home!

Read more

Rainy season table set

Clear signs …

That summer is here:

a. Empty tables at local cafe
b. Royal Poincianas are in bloom
c. Pouring down rain.

Looking towards 5th Avenue
in downtown Naples

Caveat on the rain:

It usually doesn’t start falling until after midday.

flood and fire

All droughts end in floods
We just didn't expect it inside

There’s an old hydrology axiom …

That all droughts end in flood.

The podcast explains more

And more than often it holds up,

Although most recently in the swamp with a twist.

Flooded hallway from a strong afternoon storm

The flooding occurred inside the building, a place you’d usually expect to stay dry. The reason? It was a powerful storm cell, and it blew in at an angle into an outdoor hallway that had new door thresholds that slightly pooled the water up.

Meanwhile, the day before, a lightning strikes from a similar cloud caused a few new wildfire starts.

Panorama of the flooded corridor

Moral of the story:

Flood and drought aren’t as diametrically opposed as might first appear. They can actually co-exist on the same day.

water cycle

Major rain delay
Driest May since 1992

How dry has this May been?

Put it this way – We’re going to need a big June to catch up.

May and June rains re-fill the swamp from drought

Usually, over the long-term, May and June combine for 13 inches of rain.

So far his year we have less than an inch.

What’s it going to take for the swamp to catch up?

A couple cumulonimbus clouds for one would help.

History of monthly rainfall for the Big Cypress

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water cycle

Major swamp milestone
Dry season marches on

The swamp dries out in degrees

During the winter and spring.

This chart chronicles the rise and fall of the water table over the past couple years

Gradual at first, come April and May that drying process can speed up. The end point? Total dryness. We’re not at that point yet. But the swamp has hit a notable threshold. According to our Preserve-wide hydrograph (see above), water is about to drop below the center of the domes.

Centers of cypress domes are still moist, but standing water is scarce

The cypress peat is still retaining moisture. And the gator holes and deep water refugia are still holding water.

But even those low spots will go dry as the dry season marches on.

Deeper gator holes are still holding water

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