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In This Issue
Quick Facts
CoCoRaHS at the FSU Marine Lab Open House
Check Us Out on Facebook
Introducing WFSU Environmental Minute
Status of Quality Control Efforts
April Rains
April CoCoRaHS Totals
Current State of the Drought
2011 Hurricane Season
Hurricane Awareness Week
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 4/11 (435 reports)

Highest reported daily rainfall from FL CoCoRaHS observers during 4/11 (FL-PN-18 on 4/1/11)

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NewsletterMay 2011
CoCoRaHS at the FSU Marine Lab Open House

In the early morning hours of April 16, after the tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings had expired, I packed up my rain gauges, buckets and sponges, and headed down to St. Teresa, FL, to take part in the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory Open House. I had a blast teaching the adults and children that stopped by how to properly read a rain gauge. I was able to take a few moments from wringing out sponges to talk about the weather with a few CoCoRaHS observers, and recruited a few more - though none of them live in Florida!  I do believe that Alabama, Georgia, Maine and Pennsylvania may have each gotten a new observer from my day at the coast.   


Check Us Out on Facebook!

You can now 'Like' Florida CoCoRaHS on Facebook! By joining our Facebook page, the latest Florida CoCoRaHS news items will automatically show up in your "news feed" when you first login to Facebook. To join, click the link below, then click the "like" button on our Facebook page.


Find us on Facebook  

Introducing WFSU Environmental Minute

WFSU logo"Environmental Minute" is a new radio program sponsored by The Florida Climate Institute, The Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences, and the FSU Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science.  Each week starting May 1, an expert from FSU answers a question relating to environmental issues across the state. Both State Climatologist David Zierden and myself are recording answers to be aired this summer. The segment airs on Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:04am on WFSU  88.9FM. Archives are posted at  


Status of Quality Conrol Efforts

We continue to work toward providing the best data possible with our CoCoRaHS observations. There were fewer observations flagged for Florida than the previous months, so thank you for taking the time to insure that your reports are correct before submitting them.


If you receive an email from me with the subject line 'Question About Your Recent CoCoRaHS Observation', please take a moment to answer me back.  And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

April Rains

Rainfall totals for April were generally below normal across the state (Table 1). Although above-normal monthly totals were observed at Tampa and Miami, such totals were isolated (Figure 1).  The monthly total at Miami was raised above normal by a record daily total of 2.58 inches that fell on the 29th.

Table 1: April precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
Table 1
Figure 1: A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for April is given in the figure below (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).
Figure 1
April CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the CoCoRaHS rainfall totals for April from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state.

Rainfall map 

Current State of the Drought

When comparing the current release of the drought monitor against the one from the April newsletter, there's some good news and some bad news.  Let's start with the bad news.  Drought conditions in the southeastern part of the state, from Palm Bay to Miami and including interior areas around Lake Okeechobee, remained extreme and a regional water shortage was declared by the South Florida Water Management District.  With the lack of rain in April, portions of the Forgotten Coast saw their abnormally dry conditions become moderate drought conditions.  Now for some good news!  Most of the central and northern parts of the state saw a reduction of drought conditions since the April newsletter.  The spring is a historically dry period for the state, and now that we are moving into May, we should see an increase in the sea breeze, which means a return to (hopefully) wetter conditions.


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

FL Drought Monitor Map 

2011 Hurricane Season

On June 1st we start the 2011 Hurricane Season.  Last year, Tropical Storm Bonnie cut across south Florida in July, while Tropical Storm Nicole's outer bands produced rainfall in the Keys and Everglades.  Even though 2010 was an active season, Florida was left fairly unscathed from tropical cyclone activity for the third year in a row.  That being said, the threat is real every year between June and November, and now is the time to prepare.  The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a website where you can create a customized hurricane preparedness checklist based on your specific needs:

Create a Hurricane Plan for:

You can find the contact information for your County Emergency Management Office here: 

Our rain gauges have held up fairly well against tropical storms during the last two hurricane seasons, however, if you are worried yours could be damaged or lost should a hurricane threaten your area, please feel free to bring yours inside. 

Remember: Your safety is our number one concern so please take heed when officials issue evacuations for your area.  Rain gauges can be replaced but you cannot.  

Hurricane Awareness Week

The National Hurricane Center's 2011 Hurricane Awareness Week will be held May 22-28.  The goal of this project is to inform the public about the hazards associated with hurricanes and provide the knowledge that can be used to take action in the event of a land-falling hurricane.  Each day features a different aspect of hurricanes, from a history lesson about hurricanes, the hazards, forecasting, preparedness and action. For more information, visit the website below:

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

"Because every drop counts"