Rainfall in Lafayette County
Florida climate is characterized by wet and dry seasons with rain predominantly Occurring between June and October. Annual rainfall amounts range from 40-60 inches per year, depending on location. Rainfall is generally gathered and determined by gauges. There are several different locations that gather rain data for Lafayette County; a gauge in town , the Division of Forestry and the F.A.W.N(Florida Automated Weather Network) site located at the Lafayette County landfill.
With increased technology we have more options for water data and rainfall information. Chris Vann, Ag Agent at Lafayette County Extension Office, has recorded rainfall at his home for years, as many residents also do. The oldest official records he has seen date back to 1950. The average amount of rain for our area is 55-56 inches per year. The wettest year recorded was 1964 with 93.91 inches-Hurricane Dora struck North Florida, and the driest was 1955 with 34.26 inches. It is also interesting to see the variability from one station to another, which are in close proximity to one another. Many times the amounts are very close and sometimes there are major differences, which is understandable with weather. Also, years can have average rainfall but can be misleading, in that several wet months can make it appear normal although significant draught periods occurred. He once was told that average is to place one foot on a block of ice and one foot in a fire, what is in the middle is average. So, what determines average is all relative.
After starting off 2017 very dry, rainfall is averaging around six inches above normal through the month of July. But, remember that one rain event in early April dropped from 8-14 of rain in one twenty-four hour period. This was the second highest one-day rain even for Lafayette County, according to official records going back 67 years. Heavy rainfall in a short amount of time can make overall numbers seem normal when in actuality the month is considered low if there was a previous drought and a drought that followed.
Last year’s rainfall totals were 54.79 in town, 45.14 at the Division of Forestry, and 49.6 at the F.A.W.N site.
Chris Vann- Extension Agent- Agriculture/4-H