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Region: May brings greater than average rainfall

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Most counties in the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) received more than their normal rainfall during May, with the overall district averaging 3.78 inches, or about a half- inch above the long-term average of 3.27 inches for the month. So indicates the district’s latest hydrologic conditions report. “Rainfall amounts were highest in the Aucilla River Basin, with local monthly totals above eight inches,” the report states.

The highest gauged monthly rainfall total was 7.72 inches, recorded at Sneads Smokehouse Lake in Jefferson County, while the lowest gauged monthly total was 1.46 inches, recorded at Rosewood Tower in Levy County.

The rainfall average across the district for the 12-month period ending on May 31 was 49.1 inches, compared with the long-term average of 54.5 inches, resulting in a cumulative 12-month district rainfall deficit of 5.4 inches. “Most ongoing basin deficits improved by about two inches on an annual basis and the Coastal Rivers Basin added to its surplus,” the report states.

Meanwhile, the average district rainfall for the three months ending on May 31 was 10.1 inches, about 90 percent of the long-term average of 11.3 inches, the SRWMD reports.

Madison County received 5.25 inches in May, compared with the May average of 4.73 inches, which is 111 percent of normal for the month. Madison County received 45.75 inches during the last 12 months, or 81 percent of the annual normal.

Jefferson County received 6.16 inches in May, compared with the May average of 5.88 inches, which is 105 percent of normal for the month. The county received 46.55 inches of rainfall during the last 12 months, or 77 percent of the annual normal.

River flows remained mostly low throughout the month, with the exception of those waterways near the coast. Lake levels declined on average about half a foot. And groundwater levels dropped by almost a foot during May, ending the month at the 28th percentile on average, a decrease of seven percentile points from the end of April.

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center is maintaining its projection of normal rainfall but higher than average temperatures for north Florida for the remainder of the spring and into summer.

The SRWMD continues to urge water users to eliminate unnecessary uses and practice conservation. For more information, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

The SRWMD covers all or parts of 15 counties in north-central Florida, including Madison and Jefferson on its most northwestern portion. 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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