Daily afternoon rain showers and summer thunderstorms signal the beginning of the Central Florida rainy season. Osceola County receives a monthly average of over 7 inches of rain in the months of June – September. Compare this to the monthly average of 3 inches of rain in the months of October – May, and there is a significant 4 inch difference.
When does the wet season officially begin?
There isn’t a definitive date for the beginning of the wet season in Central Florida. It varies each year and by location. According to an article by meteorologist Amy Sweezey, it generally begins in late May and runs through mid-October. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Melbourne announce the official start date of the wet season each year after careful observations. They look for three main indicators: (1) cold fronts stop moving through Central Florida; (2) frequent (almost daily) showers and/or thunderstorms form, mainly along sea breeze collision; and (3) the low temperature and dew point temperature are consistently between 67-70°F.
How can I manage excess rainwater?
There are simple ways to manage the increased volume of stormwater during the rainy season. Properly dispose of trash to keep litter out of roads, ditches, and storm drains. Never blow leaves or grass clippings into the road. They can clog storm drains causing your street to flood. In addition, yard waste contains nutrients that can harm the environment. When washed down the storm drain, excess nutrients end up in stormwater ponds and other waterbodies and can cause harmful algal blooms.
Consider using a rain barrel to collect some of the excess rainwater. It can then be used for watering your lawn and garden on dry days. The collected water can also be used as a non-potable source of water in emergency situations. However, do not use this water for drinking, washing vegetables, bathing, etc. as it may collect impurities while running down your roof. For more information about rain barrels (and other water-related topics) tune into UF/IFAS Extension Water Wednesday classes on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/WaterCentralFlorida/ every Wednesday at 2pm. Recordings are available after the live classes.