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Rainfall above average last month

Lazaro Aleman - Greene Publishing, Inc.

Rainfall across the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) in September averaged 8.11 inches, about 50 percent above the long-term average of 5.46 inches for the month.

This according to the district’s latest hydrologic conditions report, which attributed the increase in large part to the passage of Hurricane Hermine through the area early in the month.

“Coastal counties approached twice normal amounts on a countywide average basis for the month, while those to the northeast received above average amounts,” the report states.

The rainfall average across the district for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30 was 46.40 inches, compared to the long-term average of 54.7 inches. And the cumulative 12-month districtwide rainfall deficit improved from 3 to 8.2 inches, a change attributed to the first significant rainfall surplus in 12 months.

Meanwhile, the average district rainfall for the three months ending Sept. 30 was 17.3 inches, about 3.5 inches below the long-term average total of 20.8 inches, according to the report.

Madison County received 8.40 inches in September, compared to the September average of 4.62 inches, which is 182 percent of normal for the month. Madison County has received 48.32 inches during the last 12 months, or 86 percent of the annual normal.

Jefferson County received 9.04 inches in September, compared to the September average of 5.31 inches, or 170 percent of the normal for the month. The county has received 53.00 inches of rainfall during the last 12 months, or 87 percent of the annual normal.

River levels began the month mostly below the normal range of flows but ended in the normal range as a consequence of the high rainfall amounts during the month.

Lake levels in the district rose during September, with the exceptions of four lakes, including Sneads Smokehouse in Jefferson County and Cherry Lake in Madison County.

Springs, according to the report, generally remained steady or increased during September because of the abundant rainfall during the last two months. Groundwater levels continued their rise during September, ending in the 60th percentile on average across the district, an increase of nine percentile from August.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has downgraded its projected rainfall for North Florida over the coming three months to below normal changes, according to the report.

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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