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In This Issue
Quick Facts
Spring Is On Its Way!
Spring Is On Its Way!
Spring Is On Its Way!
Spring Is On Its Way!
January Rains
January CoCoRaHS Totals
Current State of the Drought
Quick Facts
# of registered FL

# of active FL observers

# of reports submitted by FL observers during

Date with the greatest # of FL reports submitted
during 2/11 (428 reports)

Highest reported daily rainfall from FL CoCoRaHS observers during 2/11 (FL-FL-9 on 2/7/11)

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NewsletterMarch 2011
Spring Forward...

Just a friendly reminder that on March 13, Daylight Saving time begins. So before you go to bed on the 12th, turn your clock one hour ahead... or you might be late to events the following day. As for your observations, they will continue to be on local time.So if you were making your observation at 7 AM EST, you'll make it at 7 AM EDT.

March Madness!

We are currently in full swing of our March Madness recruitment drive for CoCoRaHS. From now until the end of March, we are trying to get more volunteers to help take rainfall observations across the state. We've made it fun, and have a contest going to see who can recruit the most volunteers. So, if you know anyone that might be interested in participating in CoCoRaHS, now would be the perfect time to point them in our direction.

Flood Safety Week

NOAA's Flood Safety Week takes place March 14-18 this year.If you'd like more information on the flood products issued by the National Weather Service, the 'Turn Around! Don't Drown!' campaign, or general flood safety information, visit:

More Quality Conrol Efforts

Over the past few weeks, a few observers have had a small email from me in their inboxes with the subject line: 'Question about your CoCoRaHS Observation.'  We are currently going through a beta testing phase of some new quality control efforts on our CoCoRaHS observations, and Florida was one of the states selected to take part. So far, we've only had a handful of observations that were flagged. Some were flagged because of decimal issues, another was a multi-day report entered as a daily precipitation report, and a couple we contacted the observer to verify the amount they reported. Nothing major, and nothing that couldn't be fixed with a few quick clicks.


If you receive an email from me with that subject line, please take a moment to answer me back. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Febuary Rains

Rainfall totals for February were below normal in most areas (Table 1). Rainfall totals in central and southern areas were generally below one inch. Key West recorded only 0.01 inch during the month. The monthly total at Jacksonville (4.06 in) was pushed above normal by two record daily amounts on the 8th and 10th (Table 2). A band of above normal monthly rainfall extended from the Gulf coast near Cross City northeastward to the Atlantic coast near Jacksonville (Figure 1). 

Table 1
Table 1: February precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
Table 2
Table 2: Daily rainfall records (inches) tied or broken during February. (Compiled from NOAA, NWS).
Figure 1
Figure 1: A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for February is given in the figure below (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).
February CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the rainfall totals for February from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state. Note that the color scale has changed from the previous month's map.


Current State of the Drought

The lack of rain across most of the state didn't help our drought issues. Conditions worsened in Southeast and Southwest Florida, with extreme drought conditions now stretching from northern Brevard county along the coast to about the Broward/Miami-Dade county line. The only area of the state that saw any relief from dry conditions was the same area of the state that saw above average rainfall shown in Figure 1.Spring is typically a dry season for the state, and with La Niņa dominating our pattern, it should continue to be a dry spring.With the current drought in place, and the forecasted below normal precipitation for the season, we could see a very active fire season over the next couple of months.


The National Drought Monitor is updated weekly, so you can always check the most recent conditions here: National Drought Monitor.

FL Drought Monitor

NWS Jacksonville WeatherFest

I had the pleasure of taking part in the WeatherFest Open House at the University of North Florida, hosted by the Jacksonville National Weather Service on February 26. It was a great event, with booths from the North Florida AMS Chapter, the Department of Forestry, the Red Cross, the Florida Department of Emergency Management, NWS Jacksonville and the Southeast River Forecast Center. A Coast Guard helicopter flew in for the event, and there were weather stations, balloon launches, and my favorite event: Weather Lingo!  Think Bingo, but with weather terms that you had to match with definitions as they were called out.


Along with help from two undergraduate students, Mr. Daniel Gilford and Ms. Johna Rudzin, I demonstrated two experiments that were part of a NASA 'Satellites-To-Go' take-home kit. I also answered questions about Florida's climate, the unseasonably cold temperatures (despite La Niņa and our projected forecasts), the current state of the drought... and of course, CoCoRaHS!  A special thanks to the observers who stopped by to chat - it was great to see you!

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm! If at any time you have questions about CoCoRaHS, reading your rain gauge, or finding a location to setup your rain gauge, please feel to contact a Florida CoCoRaHS Coordinator. We are lucky enough to have regional support from National Weather Service offices across the state, as well as county/local help from several CoCoRaHS volunteers.

Take care,

Griffin Photo
Melissa Griffin
Florida CoCoRaHS State Coordinator
Assistant State Climatologist

Florida Climate Center/Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies
Florida State University 
232 R.M. Johnson Building 
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840

850) 644-0719
[email protected]

"Because every drop counts"