Rains don’t wash away drought concerns, officials say

The South Florida Water Management District, which supplies water from Orlando to the Keys, is awaiting the arrival of the rainy season to refill depleted reservoirs and lakes.
“We know a wet season is coming,” said Eric Swartz, a meteorologist for the water district.
The wet season typically starts in late May.
The water management district, which includes South Florida and other parts of the state, has experienced eight consecutive months of below average rainfall, with only 57 percent of the normal total for the dry season.
Afternoon thunderstorms have traditionally fired up starting about May 21, and officials are hoping for an early start to the wet season this year, Swartz said.
It’s impossible to predict exactly when the wet season will start, how long it will last and how much rain it will bring, he said.
Historically, Florida gets about two to four feet of rain during the wet season, which typically lasts through early November.
It doesn’t appear the rainy season will start in the next seven days, Swartz said.
While coastal South Florida saw average rainfall in April, other parts of the state remained dry, said John Mitnik, chief engineer for the water management district.
About 66 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions, the highest percentage of any state, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

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