Rainfall across the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) measured 2.5 inches in May, about a quarter less than the long-term average of 3.27 inches recorded for the month, according to the district’s latest hydrologic conditions report. As for Jefferson County, it experienced a sea-breeze induced rainfall deficit along its coast. Additionally, the district’s lowest gauged monthly total of 0.70 inches was recorded at the Wacissa Tower. The average rainfall across the district for the 12-month period ending April 30 was 47.6 inches, compared to the long-term average of 54.6 inches, creating a rainfall deficit of -7.5. This doubled the deficit from the beginning of the month to 7.1 inches, with “all major river basins now carrying annual deficits in 9-inch shortfall.” Meanwhile, the average district rainfall for the three months ending May 31 was about three inches below the long-term average of 11.5 inches. Jefferson County received 2.00 inches, compared with the May average of 5.88 inches, which is 34 percent of normal for the month.
The county received 48.81 inches of rainfall during the last 12 months, or 81 percent of the annual normal. Madison County, for its part, received 2.35 inches, compared with the May average of 4.73 inches, which is 50 percent of normal for the month. Madison County received 47.15 inches during the last 12 months, or 84 percent of the annual normal. River levels across the district were generally low to normal by the month’s end, with the Aucilla River Basin dropping into deficit status. Lake levels likewise generally declined across the district, with Sneads Smokehouse Lake in northern Jefferson County dropping about 1.5 feet, to 79.1 feet. Groundwater levels in the monitored wells also declined during May, with the district ending the month at the 67th percentile aquifer level. The SRWMD continues to urge the conservation of water. For more Information, 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.