CoCoRaHS HeaderFlorida Newsletter / October 2011 
In This Issue
Happy 4th Anniversary
Awesome Reporting!
September Rains
September CoCoRaHS Totals
Current State of the Drought
Odds and Ends
Quick Facts

1,182 Registered FL Observers  


481 Active FL Observers

11,612 FL Reports Submitted during 9/11


 Greatest # of Daily Reports Submitted during September: 413 on 9/1/11


Most Rainfall Reported during September: 5.91" Rainfall  on 9/4/11 from Station FL-OK-32

Join My Mailing List 
Email Me 
Find us on Facebook

Happy 4th Anniversary

This October, CoCoRaHS celebrates its fourth year in Florida. While recruitment isn't has robust as it once was, we've managed to retain just about 500 active observers across the state, and most of them have been around since 2007. Observers have come and gone, but they've left behind vital information that's being used by so many different people now -- it's staggering at times. CoCoRaHS observers have reported during land-falling tropical systems such as 2008's Tropical Storm Fay, showing the true power of the citizen weather observers. We've also reported in times of drought, helping monitor dry conditions across the state during two severe droughts during our four years in Florida. The comments left by observers over these last four years have included both informative reports (about floods, droughts, and even temperatures during the last two cold winters) and entertaining anecdotes (mentions of weddings, animals encounters, and "I bet no one reads these" comments, to which I have responded). Thanks to you all, this program is alive and thriving in Florida. Without your continued support and vigilance, CoCoRaHS would not be what it is today.     


Thank you.


Frog in rain gauge Frog in rain gauge 






Steve (FL-SS-37) found an interesting surprise while checking his rain gauge last month. This little green tree frog made it into the inner tube of his gauge. In the words of his wife, "You've got to love Florida."  


Awesome Reporting!

Looking back on four years worth of data has been a fun, educational experience. However, it got me thinking: How many observers were still around from the start? And how many observations had they made? Thanks to the wonderful guys at CoCo-HQ, I now have the answer to those questions!

I was shocked to find out that 559 stations have made over 500 reports, even more so that 377 stations had over 1,000 reports. Now, some of those stations have closed over the years, but it's still an accomplishment. There are two stations (FL-BV-1 and FL-HB-4) that have been with Florida CoCoRaHS since the start and have never missed an observation!

There were a few other stand-outs among those stations that had been with the program since October 2007 that I'd also like to mention:
Days Missed
Days Missed
Days Missed

Again, I extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for making this program a success.

September Rains

Rainfall totals varied greatly across the state during September (Table 1). In the north, the monthly total at Pensacola (8.15 inches) was more than two inches above normal. In contrast, the monthly total (4.99 inches) at Miami was almost five inches below normal. Three long-standing daily rainfall records were broken during the month (Table 2). In particular, a total of 3.36 inches at Key West on the 26th broke a daily record in existence since 1920. Areal patterns of monthly rainfall relative to normal are depicted in Figure 1. Particularly evident are (1) an above-normal area in the far northwest where Tropical Storm Lee produced several storm totals of almost eight inches and (2) a below-normal area along the central Atlantic coast. The latter area included Melbourne's monthly total (2.43 inches) that was more than five inches below normal.

Table 1: September precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
Precipitation Totals 
Table 2. Daily rainfall records (inches) tied or broken during September. (Compiled from NOAA, NWS.)
Rainfall records 

Figure 1: A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for September (courtesy of NOAA, NWS)

rainfall graphic

September CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the CoCoRaHS rainfall totals for September from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state.
Rainfall totalls


Current State of the Drought

Conditions across portions of the state continued to improve. Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties are now out of drought condition designations; however, further east across the Panhandle, drought conditions continue to linger. Two areas of extreme drought still exist in the state: northern Nassua County and in and around the Apalachicola River. These areas are still well below normal in their yearly rainfall totals: most of the rivers are running at low levels and some of the cypress swamps in the area have dried out. Down around south Florida, dry conditions still linger, with the area around Lake Okeechobee still experiencing a severe drought. The lake level of Lake Okeechobee is at 11.13 ft, which is still in the water shortage management stage and means water restrictions are still in place for residents and commercial and agricultural users of the water supply.


La Niņa is forecasted to bring us another dry winter. The Climate Prediction Center is predicting that the drought will persist well into 2012.


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


Drought Monitor


Odds and Ends

Each week, an expert from FSU is answering a question related to environmental issues that impact Florida as part of WFSU's new "Environmental Minute" radio program. Archives are posted at  


Thanks to your efforts in taking that extra minute as you enter your report, we did not have any stations that reported an error during September. There were a few high totals that were questioned, but they were all confirmed to be associated with localized thunderstorms. Please remember: 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.


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 "Find us on Facebook" link in the menu bar of this email, then click the "like" button on our Facebook page.

Thank 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.


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]