Two months of drop
And four more to go

Water levels in the swamp …

Have been steadily dropping for two months.

Hydrograph of water depth in Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve
Historic calendar of water depth in Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve

The reason? That’s what it always does. It is a bit surprising that the pop-up storms of December didn’t do more to steady or reverse the recession. And that’s not to say we don’t have a big water-cycle reversing storm in the dry season cards yet. What we can say is that water levels are a foot lower than this time last year and an inch or two below the long-term average for early January. The long-term forecast is this: We have four more months of dry season until the summer rains start up.

In the meanwhile, if you get out into a dome or a strand, you’ll still find plenty of water, and a good amount of moisture in the marl prairies, too. It isn’t until March, April and May that the swamp dives down into deep drought.

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