January 2016 in one word: RAIN. No doubt, there was lots of it and now that the month is over, we can look back and see how much rain we really got.
All in all, numerous rainfall records were broken across southwest Florida.
In an average January, Fort Myers sees about 1.94 inches of rain. But this past January was anything but average. In fact, we got more than 2 inches of rain in one day on 2 occasions (the 15th and 27th). The total tally for the month was more than six times the average – at 12.98 inches recorded at Page Field. This is only about a foot more than last year, where rain was a treasure and we only saw a whopping 0.57 inches throughout the whole month. This year’s new record breaks the old one from 25 years ago, when Fort Myers saw 7.95 inches in January 1991.
But while Fort Myer’s feat was incredible, it certainly wasn’t the only one for the books. Coming in at 8.83 inches, Punta Gorda gets to celebrate a new rainfall record for the month of January too. Keep in mind, Punta Gorda usually sees only 1.80 inches all month long! The previous record was 7.07 inches set back in 1979.
And let’s not forget about Naples. The January total rainfall shows Naples also saw rainfall more typical of the summer season. While Naples usually sees 1.85 inches of rain for the entire month of January, this past go around was a lot different, with 8.30 inches to report for the month. This is especially impressive considering last January, Naples only received a tenth of an inch of rain.
This anomaly of record rainfall can be attributed to a very strong El Niño pattern, which typically tends to bring more rain events and even severe weather to southwest Florida. This could lead to another above average month of rain for the month of Febuary too.
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Source: National Weather Service Climate Data