Our backyard drought is worse than California
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Infrequent rain has made Florida’s drought worse than California’s.
Florida is trading places with California as drought spreads across most of the state and California continues to see more rainfall.
The lack of rain since the start of the year in Jacksonville has reached a deficit of 2.5 inches while parts of central and south Florida are 6-8 inches below normal over the last three months.
Duval county is dealing with abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions blanket the First Coast with severe drought spreading northward since last week into central Florida.
Severe short-term drought increased over a large swath of the Florida Peninsula, excluding the immediate Miami area, and extreme drought developed in parts of southwest Florida where the worst fire danger existed.
These conditions are drier than California now that a series of storms carrying deep Pacific moisture has broken the years long drought.
California has seen over a dozen atmospheric rivers during winter which powered intense storms with heavy rainfall. In total 29 of these deep upper air currents have flowed into California sending plumes of moisture toward the drought stricken state.
The wet season on the west coast is the reverse of Florida’s. Our drier days are in winter at the same time the west coast typically sees more coastal storms.
In Florida, the wet season picks up at the end of May and peaks into September as sea breeze thunderstorms coincide with tropical systems.
The worsening drought in Florida has caused an increase in brush fires and could reduce agricultural yields this spring.