Did summer just end?
Just when it was getting interesting

It was shaping up to be a subpar summer …

And then September kicked into high gear.

The swamp finally peaks, but for how long?

Back to back weeks pushed the swamp to its annual peak.

Then came the recent front of dry air?

Overnight the rain machine shut down.

Or is there still time for it to rev back up?

A flooded marl prairie with periphyton

I‘m never one to complain about the start of fall, but seriously – summer was finally starting to get interesting. It’s good to see the swamp’s sheet of water spreading out.

birds eye view

Cloud welcoming party
And why we love rain in the swamp

Rainy days often get a bum rap …

For ruining plans or otherwise sidetracking events.

Destination “gap between the clouds”
Getting closer
Inside the gap!
Exiting to the other side

Not in the swamp! Alligators, cypress, periphyton, peat, fish, wading birds (the list goes on) couldn’t be more thrilled. At least, that’s why I saw that alligator smiling.

Swamp gets soaked
Third BRD of year sweeps through south Florida

It was our third of the water year (i.e. since January 2021) …

And second of the wet season.

History of Big Rain Days (BRDs) in south Florida

What is a Big Rain Day (BRD)?

It’s any day when south Florida averages an inch or more of rain across the entire peninsula.

We have 3 BRDs so far this year

On average, south Florida gets about 5 BRDs per year. Flood years we typically get more (i.e. 10 in 2005, the year of Wilma) and drought years get less (i.e. 2 in the 2011, the year of the Jarhead Wildfire).

What months do BRDs strike most?

Almost 20 percent of them occur in June. But the take-home lesson from the table below is that practically every month has at least a 1 in 30 chance of getting a BRD. And that’s all it takes. A single day of rain can change the outlook for the whole month, or longer.

BRDs are surprisingly rare in July and August

Tuesday’s BRD wasn’t gargantuan …

But it did set the stage for the high-water heart of the wet season ahead.

Water typically peaks in September and October in the swamp.

Read more

birds eye view

Remember When
Kirby Storter in Summer 2017

Everyone remembers 2017 …

As the Year of Hurricane Irma.

Kirby Storer Boardwalk, looking south

But even before Irma struck,

The swamp was already filled up …

Thanks to 20 inches of June rain.

Same boardwalk, looking North

It was the wettest winter since 1995.

Both year’s the Trail overtopped

End of boardwalk

At the Collier, Dade and Monroe Tri County line.

weekly wave banner

Swamp Rumbles To Life
Go Hydrology's Weekly Wave Newsletter

Greetings fellow water drops,

My name is Bob. I’m a hydrologist who works for the National Park Service at Big Cypress National Preserve in the great state of Florida.

Go Hydrology is a water cycle blog where we tune into the continuously changing and always interesting wetlands, waterways and watersheds of mostly south Florida.

So, without further ado …

Today’s Quiz

Visit the Daily Drip

Everyone knows that needle-shedding cypress trees signal the winter dry season. But can you name the tree that signals the start of the summer wet season?

a. Gumbo Limbo, b. Slash Pine,

c. Pond Apple, d. Royal Poinciana, e. Dwarf Cypress

Click HERE to view answer!

Waterside Chat

Everyone loves to think of the Big Cypress as a rain-driven watershed that gets all it’s water from the sky. But was it always? And is that a good thing?

A higher unlevied Lake helped send water in the swamp

Click HERE to learn more!

Water Room

There’s a watershed outside your window. And if you looked out it recently you might have noticed its started to rain. As a result the swamp has begun its summer rebound.

Click HERE to view the hydrographs!

As always, thanks for stopping by and being a subscriber. 

It’s good to know there are like-minded water enthusiasts out there.  We need to stick together and promote the cause.  Until next time, keep your feet in the water and your head in the clouds!

P.S. Please share with a friend!

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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

Read more

Rain machine mechanic
How to kick start a rain storm

There’s no secret to …

What it takes to crank up Florida’s rain machine?

South Florida’s rain machine

All good rain mechanics know you have to get nighttime lows to stay above the 70° F line.

That’s when the good humidity really kicks in.

Daily high and low temperatures for Naples Florida

Looks like we’ll be crossing that line this week.

Go rain machine go!

As seen at John Stretch Park

Read more