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Severe Drought to Record Rain: Perspective on the Reversal

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Most of Florida was in a drought just one month ago. But on Thursday, the U.S. Drought Mitigation Center published a report stating there are now no areas with abnormally dry conditions. 

"I do believe it's one of the most dramatic reversals", said state climatologist David Zierden. He says it's not uncommon to see a drought improve during Florida's rainy season.

"But this year, the June rains were so robust and widespread, we actually came out of the drought in three weeks", said Zierden. "Right now, our statewide average rainfall is right around 11.9 inches, which would rank second greatest of all time."

Even more impressive are some of the city totals. Pensacola, for example, has had it's second rainiest June on record, and Gainesville set an ALL-TIME record for the rainiest calendar month in that city's history.

Other than Tropical Storm Cindy, which largely only affected the panhandle, no major weather system can be attributed to the reversal. The dissipation of La Nina conditions in the Pacific - which correlated to our dry winter, and the persistent presence of tropical moisture, has been the likely cause of Florida's wetter-than-normal start to the rainy season.

Near-normal rainfall is expected through the 4th of July holiday across the state, which means some outdoor plans will likely be interrupted by afternoon or evening thunderstorms.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Jeff Huffman