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April showers soak Suwannee region

“The Aucilla River basin and the Upper Suwannee tributaries generally received over five inches along their respective lengths, as did Madison and Hamilton counties as whole,” according to the Suwannee River Water Management District’s (SRWMD) latest report.

For the second time in as many months, Jefferson County in April received more rain than any other county in the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD).

“Jefferson County led all counties for the second month in a row, receiving almost seven inches, while Levy County received less than two inches,” states the report, underscoring a pattern of high rainfall in the northwest part of the district and lower amounts in the southeast.

Districtwide, the SRWMD received 3.91 inches, or about 20 percent above the long-term average April rainfall of 3.33 inches.

Meanwhile, the average rainfall across the district for the 12-month period ending April 30 was 51.3 inches, compared to the long-term average of 54.7 inches, making for a cumulative 12-month deficit of 3.4 inches, a slight improvement over the previous months.

The average district rainfall for the three months, ending April 30, totaled 11.0 inches, or about six percent below the long-term average of 11.7 inches, according to the report.

Madison County received 5.19 inches, compared to the April average of 3.23 inches, which is 161 percent of normal for the month. Madison County received 48.15 inches during the last 12 months, or 86 percent of the annual normal.

Jefferson County, for its part, received 6.82 inches, compared to the April average of 4.04 inches, or 169 percent of the normal for the month. The county received 44.31 inches of rainfall during the last 12 months, or 73 percent of the annual normal.

River levels ended the month within the normal range of flows (between the 25th and 75th percentiles) after experiencing a surge from late March and early April rains. The Aucilla River at Lamont remained higher than the 75th percentile.

“The Aucilla River basin improved to almost 50 percent above normal for the period,” the report stated.

Monitored lakes, meanwhile, declined moderately in level, with Sneads Smokehouse Lake in Jefferson County declining 1.4 feet during the month and groundwater levels in the upper Floridan aquifer monitored wells rebounded, ending the month at the 70th percentile as an average across the district.

The report notes that the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) continues to project higher than normal rainfall chances in north Florida over the next three months.

The SRWMD continues to urge the elimination of unnecessary uses of water. For more information on conservation measures, visit  www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

The SRWMD encompasses all or parts of 15 counties in north-central Florida, including Madison and the eastern portion of Jefferson.

The monthly report is a compilation of data collected from radar-derived rainfall estimates, groundwater and surface water levels, river flows and other sources.

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