March 26, 2009


Heavy rain fell in southeastern Florida, mainly in and near some of the east coast cities, but largely bypassed the remainder of the parched peninsula.

March 17-21 rainfall totaled 2.81 inches in Ft. Lauderdale, with nearby amounts locally ranging from 6 to 10 inches. However, Ft. Lauderdale recently completed its driest winter on record, with a December-February rainfall total of just 0.39 inch (5% of normal).

Nevertheless, some severe drought (D2) was removed from the hardest-hit areas of southeastern Florida, replaced by abnormal dryness and moderate drought (D0 and D1).

Elsewhere, there was some modest expansion of severe drought (D2) deeper into interior southern Florida, including all of Lake Okeechobee.

The level of Lake Okeechobee has been falling steadily since a few weeks after the August 2008 passage of Tropical Storm Fay, and the lake’s average surface elevation on March 24 stood at 12.32 feet (about 2 feet below the 1965-2007 average for the date).

For more info. click on "Drought Monitor"

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