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Low rainfall in district during October

Rainfall district wide was 1.43 inches in October, about half the long-term average of 3.10 inches for the month, according to the latest hydrologic conditions report from the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). Only two areas of the district, in fact, received above average rainfall in October. And for Jefferson County, it was the fourth month in a row that it received the least amount of rain in the district. The average rainfall across the district for the 12-month period ending Oct. 31 was 52.4 inches, compared to the long-term average of 54.6 inches. “The cumulative 12-month departure remained at a slight deficit of 2.2 inches,” the report states. The average district rainfall for the three months ending Oct. 31 was 16.1 inches, “roughly in line with the long-term average of 15.9,” according to the report. Jefferson County received 0.72 inches, compared with the October average of 3.07 inches, which is 23 percent of normal for the month. The county received 48.23 inches of rainfall during the last 12 months, or 80 percent of the annual normal. Madison County, for its part, received 2.22 inches, compared with the October average of 3.24 inches, which is 69 percent of normal for the month. Madison County received 48.80 inches during the last 12 months, or 87 percent of the annual normal. Most river levels across the district began and ended the month in the normal range of flows, which is between the 25 and 75 percentiles. Meanwhile, the Aucilla River basin improved about an inch. Monitored lakes levels across the district generally declined during the month, with Sneads Smokehouse Lake in Jefferson County remaining below the gauge limit and five other lakes dropping to below their average levels. “Groundwater levels in the upper Floridian monitored wells decreased across most areas of the district and ended the month at the 62 percentile overall, a decrease of about three percentile from September,” the report states. It notes that the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecasts “above-normal rainfall conditions to continue through June for North Florida.” It also notes that the Nov. 3 report of the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated, “Moderate drought conditions in parts of central Jefferson County and western Madison County.”  The SRWMD continues to urge the conservation of water. For more information on water conservation measures, visit 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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