CoCoRaHS HeaderFlorida Newsletter / December 2011 
In This Issue
Happy Holidays!
November CoCoRaHS Totals
Current State of the Drought
Odds and Ends
Quick Facts

1,191 Registered FL Observers  


472 Active FL Observers

11,358 FL Reports Submitted during 11/11


 Greatest # of Daily Reports Submitted during November: 401 on 11/1/11


Most Rainfall Reported during November: 3.02" on 11/1/11 from Station FL-MN-8

Join My Mailing List 
Email Me 
Email Me 
Find us on Facebook

Happy Holidays!

I made it back from my Thanksgiving trip and I didn't have any dead bugs in my rain gauge. Instead, for the first time in weeks, I had something more than 0.01" to report. And just a few days after my return to Florida, it snowed back home!


As we close out 2012, I'd like to thank you all again for the time and dedication you put into CoCoRaHS. Without each one of you, this program wouldn't be what it is today.


I hope that you and yours have a happy and safe holiday season.


COAPS Header
Snow near my family's place in Tennessee shortly after I returned to Florida!

La Ni�a Winter 2011/2012

As we move closer to the official start of the 2011/2012 winter season, I've had a few questions about what the outlooks are like for our chances of rain and what our temperatures will be like over the next few months. I've mentioned it in passing, but we are expecting the current La Ni�a patterns to continue and strengthen during this winter. This means decreased chances for precipitation and warmer temperatures.
But, wait... What about the last two winters and the unusual colder than normal temperatures we experienced across the state?
The 'Wild Card' this winter will be the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which has the potential to trump the typical La Nina pattern. The AO is always present and fluctuates between positive and negative phases. The negative phase of the AO pushes cold Canadian air into the US, leading to periods of well-below normal temperatures, as it has the last two winters. Strong AO phases typically last a few weeks and are very difficult to predict more than a week or two in advance.
If you run your own weather station and take temperature measurements, it would be helpful to include your maximum and minimum temperature information in the comments when you submit your daily rainfall report. The additional information will be helpful in tracking any of these cold outbreaks again this winter.
COAPS Header
Winter precipitation outlook from the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center.
COAPS Header
Winter temperature outlook from the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center.

November Rains

Rainfall totals were below normal statewide in November (Table 1). The month was the 4th driest on record at Orlando and the 10th driest on record at Key West. The passage of cold fronts through the northern portions of the state were the main source of precipitation for November, though the totals that amounted from each passage were still not enough to impact the lingering drought. Areal patterns of monthly rainfall relative to normal are depicted in Figure 1.

Table 1: November precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.
Precipitation Totals 

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

rainfall graphic

November CoCoRaHS Totals

Here are the CoCoRaHS rainfall totals for Novemberber from some select CoCoRaHS stations across the state. Note the adjusted legend from the previous newsletter.
Rainfall totalls


Current State of the Drought

Since the October 25 release of the National Drought Monitor, there has been little change to the drought. Drought conditions continue to persist in northern portions of the state, with extreme drought conditions present around Leon and Gadsden counties and the Choctawhatchee River basin, while Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties have gone from moderate to severe drought. Water restrictions remain in place in South Florida, even though Lake Okeechobee has maintained a water level of 13.84 ft., due the forecasted La Ni�a and decreased chance of precipitation throughout the winter.


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  


Our quality control efforts continued to prove helpful as we had a few reports that needed additional information. I appreciate how understanding the contacted observers were, along with how quick they were to reply to my email. 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]