2014 Weather Summary and 1st Quarter Outlook

National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle for December 2014.
National Weather Service estimates for rainfall in the Florida Panhandle for December 2014.

December was another wet month for the Central Panhandle, with more moderate rainfall recorded in the western counties. Gadsden and Liberty County received heavy rains just prior to Christmas, with a monthly total over 10″.

14 Panhandle FAWN Station SummaryThe Florida Automated Weather Stations (FAWN) showed this variation in December rainfall as well. The FAWN station located at the Quincy NFREC recorded 10.7″ in December, DeFuniak had 9.5″, and 8.4″ in Monteicello. The driest location was Carrabelle where only 2.4″ was recorded. For the entire year, all six locations were well above average. The Quincy station recorded 16.1″ above average rainfall, followed by the Jay location, which was 13.2″ more than normal. The DeFuniak station recorded 82.9″ in 2014. This station was recently added, so a historic average has not yet been determined for this location yet, but it was clearly much higher than normal.

2014 rainfall totals recorded at the six FAWN stations in the Panhandle.
2014 rainfall totals recorded at the six FAWN stations in the Panhandle.

Comparing the total rainfall for the six FAWN stations shows the variation that occurred in 2014. The Marianna station recorded the lowest total rainfall in 2014, but even it was almost 8″ above average. All six stations averaged almost 70″ for the year.

14 Marianna FAWN Rainfall vs avg graphTotal rainfall amounts don’t tell the whole story, because there were large sections of the Panhandle in slight to moderate drought through the summer months, when crops needed rainfall the most. 2014 was indeed a strange year, with so much rain over the spring and early winter. The graph above shows rainfall in 2014 (blue line) as compared to the historic average (grey line) at the Marianna station. Whille the 62″ total rainfall figure is impressive, the June and early July drought hurt crop yields.

12-31-14 FL Drough MonitorEven with the late fall and early winter rains, the western counties in the Panhandle are still included in the Drought Monitor with abnormally dry and moderate drought conditions being reported.

2014 Marianna FAWN SummaryNot only has it been a year with high spring and early winter rainfall, but temperatures have been cool as well. The weather summary above from the Marianna FAWN station shows the while air temperatures were slightly warmer in December than November, the soil continued to cool below an average of 50°for the fist time since February. This station recorded 24 days of below freezing air temperatures, compared to only 14 in 2013, 16 in 2012, and 21 in 2011. Even so it did not compare to the 51 days below freezing back in 2010. That same year there were also 83 days over 95° as compared to only 4 in 2014.

To see the entire daily weather summary, as well as the 62 years of monthly rainfall records at the Marianna station, download the:

2014 Jackson Co Weather Summary


15 Jan-Mar Temp OutlookSo what can we expect in 2015? The National Weather Services three month outlook for January through March is predicting cooler than normal and wetter than normal conditions in the Southeast.

15 Jan-Mar Precip OutlookIt certainly does appear that the weak El Niño climate forecast is going to continue to influence weather in the region.

2015 US Seasonal Drought OutlookMuch of the drought regions of the country are expected to get some relief this winter. If their forecast holds true, much of the Southeast should be in good shape for crop planting later this year.



Posted: January 9, 2015

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Panhandle Agriculture, Weather

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