Tamiami Trail Flows

The flow season has steadily drawn to a close in Big Cypress National Preserve. As of early December, less than 100 cfs of fresh-water flow was recorded in the 35-mile stretch of US41 that runs through Big Cypress National Preserve.

That matches last year’s early December end of the flow season.

The big difference was that this year’s cumulative flows for the entire 35-mile stretch stayed under 1000 cfs for most of the summer, only rising briefly to 1500 cfs in the beginning of October. Compare that to Ernesto-influenced 2006 summer when flows across the 35-mile stretch peaked above 3000 cfs for most of September and early October. (view Big Cypress NP summary)

This year’s trickle across the Trail was even less than occurred during the recent droughts of note — in 2000 and in the late 1980s. Click the links to view historical flow calendars for the Carnestown to Monroe Station (western preserve) and Monroe Station to 40 Mile Bend (eastern preserve) stretches of the USGS’s flow monitoring data.

Below is a comparison between the two stretches, going back to 1978, in acre-feet per year.

By the way, this monitoring set is one of the best and oldest hydrological treasures in the Everglades. Just like the Park, it too turned around 60 years old this past year. Many thanks to Everglades National Park, the US Geological Survey, and Army Corps of Engineers for funding it and keeping it alive.

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