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Rain, Hail & Snow Network

 Newsletter                                        September  2015
Florida CoCoRaHS State Coordinator / Asst. State Climatologist
(850) 644-0719
Observer Comments Corner

Another month where I'm going to start off the newsletter with just one word:



If you were to look at the the rainfall totals across Florida for the summer, it really does seem to be the tale of two different states. Pictures and news reports of major flooding were seen in the Tampa Bay area at the beginning of the month. The west coast of Florida was once again inundated with rain. Crops and pastures in the area suffered due to the volume of standing water. Elsewhere, the drought conditions worsened in South Florida and areas of the Panhandle. To give you an idea of how varied the rainfall was this summer, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 3-month totals from our observers:


To go along with some of the amazing rainfall totals, here are a variety of comments made by observers last month:


FL-CR-12 on 8/3/2015: "Hope we get about 5+ inches ... we need it rain!" 

FL-DV-47 on 8/17/2015:  " Today is my fifth anniversary with CoCoRaHS! I've reported nearly every day, either daily or multi-day, ever since. I'm very happy I am able to positively contribute to the CoCoRaHS project. Quite an honor to do so. A substantial number of convective storm cells moved through yesterday. Not much thunder but heavy downpours. This morning it is 76 with 92% humidity. On our deck on Beech Mountain:62 degrees.

FL-ES-26 on 8/20/2015: "Quite muggy once again. La-De-Da. Despite several convective cells, some with thunder, passing through the area yesterday afternoon. My gauge couldn't muster more than a trace in the last 24 hours." 

FL-HL-2 on 8/27/2015: " Heavy thunderstorms with frequent lightning, a bit of pea sized hail thrown in the mix and very strong winds trapped me in my vehicle in the driveway for about an hour. 65.34 inches of rain so far this water calendar year which ends next Monday with possibly a tropical storm Erika to start the new water year totals.
FL-CY-19 on 8/31/2015:  " Our August rain total at this site is 15.52". This is the highest monthly rain total here since I began recording in August of 2008. (A little sunshine would be welcome about now.)  


Observer Photos

During August, I received photos from two of our longest active observers. First off, Carolyn from Volusia County sent in these pictures of an beautiful anvil cloud seen offshore on August 18th.

George from Brevard County sent in this wonderful sunset picture from his home.

And followed up the next day by sending this picture of some of his 'neighbors' hanging out in the backyard. 


If you've got any pictures you took on your travels or at home -- rainfall, floods, drought impacts, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, or anything else you'd like to share -- please send them to me.

Quick Facts About August Observations

Registered Observers: 
Active Observers: 
Reports Submitted: 
Date of Most Reports: 
455 on the 30th
Highest Rain Report:  
6.87 on the 3rd (FL-PS-4)
Number of Observer Comments: 1,429
August Rains

Rainfall totals were varied across the state in August. Portions of the western coast of Florida had well above normal rainfall, while the Panhandle and southern Florida recorded below normal rainfall (Figure 1). Departures from normal roughly ranged from -1.69" to 8.73" (Table 1), though localized parts of the state saw rainfall totals that were as much as 5.00" below normal to 8.00" above normal (Figure 1). August 2015 was the 3rd wettest in Tampa and Orlando. There were multiple 24-hour precipitation records broken for the month (Table 2).


Table 1. August precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.

Table 1

Table 2. Select daily rainfall records (inches) broken during August. (Compiled from NOAA, NWS)

Table 2


Figure 1. A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for August is given in the figure below (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).

August CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the CoCoRaHS rainfall totals for August from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state.  


Current State of the Drought

At the end of July, nearly 40% of the state was experiencing abnormally dry (D0) or drought conditions, with the main concentration along the east coast of the state, the Big Bend, and in portions of northeastern and southern Florida. By August 4th the area of D0 in the western Panhandle counties was extended along the coastal portions of Bay County and moderate (D1) conditions were introduced into Santa Rosa County, while beneficial rains eased some of the drought conditions from Brevard County to Palm Beach County. As the month progressed, D0 in the southern part of the state expanded back into Collier and Hendry counties while the area of extreme (D3) drought shifted away from the coastal portions to the interior of Dade and Broward counties and D3 was reported in Monroe County. By the end of the month, rainfall in the northeast region had eased most of the D0 conditions, with the exception of lingering dryness in Volusia County. The lack of rainfall led to the expansion of D0 across most of the Panhandle counties. In South Florida, there was a slight expansion of severe (D2) and D3 drought conditions across Broward, Dade and Monroe counties. Based on census data, roughly 5.5 million Florida citizens are currently being impacted by drought conditions reported in nearly 40% of the state. At the end of the month, the water level in Lake Okeechobee increased to just over 13 ft., mainly due to rainfall across the northern part of the basin.   

Odds and Ends

Make sure to check out the monthly Wx Talk Webinars offered by CoCoRaHS. Each month features a different weather-related topic and gives a chance for our observers to interact with the speaker. If you are unable to attend or have missed some of the previous months' talks, you can find them archived on the CoCoRaHS YouTube site: 


Make sure to like Florida CoCoRaHS on Facebook! Observers can now post comments and pictures to the wall.