Rainfall across the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) was below average in May, with Madison and Jefferson counties receiving about a third of their normal precipitation during the month.
The latest hydrologic conditions report from the SRWMD shows an average of 2.62 inches of rain falling across the district in May, which is 20 percent below the long-term average of 3.27 inches.
Meanwhile, the rainfall average across the district for the 12-month period ending May 31 was 51.4 inches, compared to the long-term average of 54.7 inches. And the cumulative 12-month deficit was 3.3 inches, a slight improvement for the second consecutive month.
Finally, the average district rainfall for the three months ending May 31 totaled 10.1 inches, about 10 percent below the long-term average of 11.3 inches, according to the report.
Madison County received 1.75 inches in May, compared to the May average of 4.73 inches, which is 37 percent of the 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 2.05 inches in May, compared to the May average of 5.88 inches, or 35 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.
May levels began in the normal range of flows (between the 25th and 75th percentiles) and trended downward as the month progressed, according to the report. The Aucilla River, although it remained in surplus, experienced the greatest shift of -2.5 inches.
All the district’s monitored lakes, with the exception of one, decreased in level during May, and six were below average at the month’s end, according to the report.
In terms of springs, the report indicates the Wacissa River declined in flow, possibly caused by vegetative backwater from submersed aquatic vegetation in the river system.
Groundwater levels in Upper Floridan aquifer monitor wells dropped sharply, ending the month at the 53rd percentile on average across the district.
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is projecting higher than normal chances for rainfall 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 part 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.