Taste of the Everglades

Howdy folks,

My name’s Water Drop and I’m here to talk about the water cycle.

People always ask me:

“Water Drop, what’s the water cycle?”

My answer?

It’s kind of a “wetter version” of the change in the four seasons.

The diagram below probably explains it best.

Animated water cycle for the Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades
The water cycle in motion, swamp style

Not that the diagram (now above) is always right!

Take for instance our current situation in America’s Everglades.

An animated view of water rising and falling in the Everglades
The Everglades Ridge and Slough (and Tree Islands)

Usually January is the drier time of the year, or at least when the water table is trending down. Well, not this year. Thanks to an oddball November storm named Eta, the water table peaked unusually late, in November, and it’s been hanging around at the flood stage ever since.

Here’s a video that explains the storm.

Or if you’re more of a scientific ilk …

Here’s a hydrograph that shows it.

Do you see the big bump? That’s what Eta did.

Hydrograph showing current water depth in the southeast corner of Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve relative to major ecological and statistical thresholds. The blue line shows the current year

Or if you have more a historical bent:

The chart below shows the rise and fall of the water table over the decades, almost going back to the year I was born. That’s a lot of water under the bridge if you know what I mean.

This calendar chart reads like a page of a book, with 50 years of data packed all on one page in a way that patterns easily emerge. Can you see where we’re at now? (Hint: Lower left-hand corner)

What will happen with the water cycle next?

Well really, there’s no telling.

My guess is another interesting turn.

As always and forever yours truly,

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