Facing Moderate Drought, Big Bend Slow To Recover From 'Exceptionally Dry' August, September

Nov 22, 2019

Credit RODION KUTSAEV / Unsplash

After an exceptionally dry August and September, the Big Bend saw some relief in rainfall during the latter half of October. The region is still at a significant rainfall deficit, accounting for a moderate drought.

Kelly Godsey is senior service hydrologist for the National Weather Service Tallahassee. He says rainfall in late October helped, but the Big Bend has a ways to go to see normal rainfall levels.

"We’re kind of at the lowest level of drought. That’s improved considerably from where we were back in early October, when we were in a severe to extreme drought across that same area," Godsey said Thursday. "So, the rainfall has helped us improve."

Throughout the month of September, Godsey says there was no measurable rainfall recorded at the Tallahassee airport. There could be some further relief on the way. The NWS is predicting near-normal rainfall for the next three months. But, there is much ground to be made up.

"Year-to-date, so far we’ve had 35 ½ inches of rain at the airport, and that’s about 18 ½ inches below normal for the year, and that’s a significant deficit so far – particularly compared to last year," Godsey told WFSU.

Normal rainfall is calculated on a 30-year average for the area. The normal amount of rain the area should see is 54 inches, and during the course of a full year it’s closer to 60.