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IT'S OFFICIAL! El Nino has ended Southwest Florida's drought

After nearly one year abnormally dry and in drought, Southwest Florida has caught up on its rainfall deficit.
Drought Conditions as of January 18
Posted at 10:42 AM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-18 19:07:16-05

Thanks to an abnormally wet December and what is already one of the wettest Januaries ever recorded, our drought has officially ended, as of January 18th.

So, why has it been so wet during DRY season? The reason is El Nino.

HERE'S HOW: The subtropical jet stream tends to be stronger and farther south in an El Nino. This shift brings the overall storm track across the southern U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico, which means multiple rounds of rainfall moving over SWFL.

El Nino Weather Pattern

LET'S LOOK BACK: Southwest Florida came into 2023 with ample rainfall. Then, January 31, 2023, abnormally dry conditions began to settle in and gradually worsened. Lack of rainfall during the "rainy season", which runs from approximately May 15 to October 15, worsened the drought conditions. The last time SWFL entered "dry season" in drought was in 2007.

Wetter-than-normal conditions are expected through April, according to the Climate Prediction Center.

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