Florida Drought Coverage Drops Nearly 60 Percent in Two Weeks

Brian Donegan
Published: June 15, 2017

Florida's drought coverage decreased by nearly 60 percent following heavy rains across the Sunshine State during June's first full week.

Some 72 percent of the state was classified under drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor on May 30, but the most recent drought monitor as of Tuesday has brought that number down to about 12 percent.

Florida's drought coverage on May 30 (left) vs. June 13 (right). The key in the middle shows which color corresponds with each intensity of drought, where D1 is the lowest intensity and D4 is the highest intensity. D0 is not considered drought.
(U.S. Drought Monitor)

How did the majority of Florida's drought get wiped out in just two weeks' time?

It's simple – portions of South Florida have averaged an inch or more of rain per day over the past two weeks, and other parts of the state have not been far behind.

Here are select rainfall totals observed in the Sunshine State from June 1 through June 14.

  • Marco Island: 19.71 inches
  • Hollywood: 11.64 inches
  • Fort Lauderdale Beach: 13.58 inches
  • Miami: 11.16 inches
  • Naples: 10.45 inches
  • Muse: 10.28 inches
  • Fort Lauderdale: 10.05 inches
  • West Palm Beach: 9.14 inches
  • Hialeah: 9.06 inches

(MORE: Florida's Wet and Dry Seasons)

Marco Island, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off Southwest Florida, picked up nearly half of this month's rainfall on June 6 alone when 9.68 inches were measured. Another 4.57 inches fell June 7, followed by 3.12 inches on June 8, yielding a three-day total of 17.37 inches from June 6 through June 8.

An average June would feature 4.40 inches of rain on Marco Island, and it picked up more than four times that amount with half the month remaining.

The three-month precipitation outlook for July through September from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.

The latest three-month precipitation outlook for July through September from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center shows equal chances of above- and below-average precipitation for the entire state of Florida.

(MORE: Why Pop-Up Summer Thunderstorms Are Among the Hardest Weather to Predict)

Brian Donegan is a digital meteorologist at weather.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

MORE: Florida Storms and Flooding

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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