Severe Drought Developing in Florida
It’s the heart of wildfire season in Florida, and more than 90 percent of the state is in a drought.
The rainy season doesn’t really begin until late May and early June.
But Mr. Zierden points out that it’s more than just rainfall that gets factored into a drought declaration.
“They [The National Drought Mitigation Center] take into account both short and long term rainfall deficits, various drought indices, stream flows, soil moisture, pasture and vegetation conditions.
The current situation is considered a “short term drought”, since the abnormally dry pattern only dates back a few months.
A long term drought, such as the one that recently ended in California, develops after years of unusually low rainfall accumulation.
For example, the recent La Nina, which is a cool spell in the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean, was a likely contributor to the warm and dry winter.
“In January that La Nina fell apart, so we’re currently in neutral conditions in the Pacific Ocean.
Right now, there’s really nothing to point to a wetter or drier rainy season this summer”, said Zierden.
April and May are typically two of the driest months of the year in Florida, but average rainfall more than doubles from May to June in most locations.