Rain Soaks All of South Florida in January
Water supply receives boost while flood control system moves excess water
West Palm Beach, FL — South Florida saw the wettest January since 1993, featuring one rainfall event that boosted the water supply and another that required full flood control operations, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) reported today.
“The two January events highlight the ever-present challenge of balancing our water supply mission with essential flood control,” said Susan Sylvester, Chief of the Water Control Operations Bureau. “In the dry season, a portion of the rain falling over a large area during several days can be stored in the system. Deluges along the coast require intense flood control operations.”
On January 9 and 10, approximately 15 inches of rain fell in just three hours in the Boynton Beach area. This storm water was discharged to tide to help alleviate local flooding, which can occur during intense storms.
On January 29, 30 and 31, a widespread rainfall event dropped more than 2 inches across South Florida, with up to 5 inches in localized areas. Water managers were able to capture some of this water in storage for the remainder of the dry season.
District-wide, 3.60 inches of rain fell in January, representing 187 percent of average, or 1.67 inches above average for the month.
Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties, along with the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), were the wettest portions of South Florida for the month. Totals included:
- Palm Beach: 7.02 inches; 237 percent of average; 4.06 inches above average
- Martin and St. Lucie: 6.89 inches; 327 percent of average; 4.78 inches above average
- East EAA: 3.96 inches; 228 percent of average; 2.22 inches above average
Lake Okeechobee stood at 13.95 NGVD today, which is 0.70 inches below its historic average for this date. The lake received 2.53 inches of direct rainfall in January, representing 190 percent of average, or 0.84 inches above average.
Dry Season Forecast
South Florida’s Dry Season
Highlights of the overall 2013-2014 South Florida dry season forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center include:
- Below-normal precipitation
- A possibility of near to slightly above-normal temperatures
- For reference, South Florida precipitation in an average dry season is 12 to 15 inches in the interior/west; 15 to 21 inches in the east.