Florida’s fickle weather brings more rain in the wake of drought

Map of monthly rainfall for July 2017

PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 8, 2017 — Soggy lawns might make drought conditions from eight weeks ago feel like a distant memory, yet areas within the St. Johns River Water Management District are still recovering from the spring’s dry spell.

“Recent wet weather has brought an end to the drought as well as preliminary indications of rebounding aquifer levels. However, aquifer replenishment takes time and more rainfall to reach normal levels, so the district remains in a Water Shortage Warning for now.” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We continue to monitor data and encourage all residents to incorporate water conservation activities into their daily lives.”

A report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s August Governing Board meeting.

  • In north Florida, Duval received 7.67 inches, which is 1.28 above average. Baker, Nassau and Putnam counties all received below-average rainfall for the month.
  • Parts of central Florida received above-average rainfall for the month. Seminole had 9.6 inches, 2.40 inches above average. Orange County received 1.01 inches above average and Lake County received 1.59 inches above average.
  • Brevard and Indian River counties were both above average, receiving 7.0 inches and 8.27 inches of rain, respectively.

While July rainfall was slightly above average, due to prolonged rainfall deficits in the preceding months parts of the district are still below average for the past 12 months.

As a result of the deficit, the district’s Water Shortage Warning Order remains in place. The order was issued in March 2017 due to below-average rainfall and encourages all water users to reduce their water use and voluntarily conserve water to the maximum extent possible, as well as adhere to year-round watering restrictions.

More information about the district’s Water Shortage Warning can be found online at www.sjrwmd.com/facts.