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 Newsletter                                             April 2014 
Florida CoCoRaHS State Coordinator / Asst. State Climatologist
(850) 644-0719
Welcome to Florida CoCoRaHS!

For those of you who just joined the program, we are happy to have you as part of the Florida CoCoRaHS Family! 


By now, most everyone knows that Florida came in 2nd place in our annual March Madness Contest, recruiting 138 new observers during the month. That number put us behind North Carolina, which made a mad dash at the end of the month to win the CoCoRaHS Cup for a second year, signing up 155 new observers. 


Griffin and Aldridge
Melissa (left) concedes the March Madness race to NC co-coordinator Heather Dinon Aldridge.

Part of the reason this month's newsletter is a bit later than normal was because I was up in Raleigh, NC, attending a meeting on the campus of North Carolina State University. While I was up there, I was able to congratulate my friend and colleague, North Carolina Co-Coordinator Heather Dinon Aldridge. The real winner is the entire program that signed up over 1,000 new observers! 


Again, welcome aboard and please let me know if you have any questions.


Is That Snow?!

Earlier this year, I mentioned having fun playing in the flurries that fell around Christmas time in Nashville. In March, I planned a trip up to the Mid-Atlantic for my daughter's spring break so she could see some of the sights that I visited when I was her age. We arrived on a Saturday, with clear blue skies and beautiful 66˚F weather. We woke up that Monday morning to close to 8" of snow. Needless to say, she took full advantage of the experience and did everything she could think of with the snow. And, being on vacation, and not properly trained or equipped, I didn't measure the snow, but enjoyed it too.

Quick Facts About March Observations

Registered Observers: 
Active Observers: 
Reports Submitted: 
Date of Most Reports: 
452 on the 18th
Highest Rain Report:  
5.85" on the 17th (FL-GF-3)
March Rains

Portions of the Big Bend and Panhandle reported monthly rainfall totals near average or slightly above normal, while totals in the rest of the state varied during March (Figure 1). Departures from normal roughly ranged from -0.70" to 4.29" (Table 1), though localized parts of Florida saw rainfall totals that were as much as 2.00" below normal to over 5.00" above normal. March 2014 was the 5th wettest on record at Pensacola and 10th wettest at Key West. There were multiple 24-hour precipitation records broken for the month (Table 2).


Table 1. March precipitation totals and departures from normal (inches) for selected cities.

  Table 1


Table 2. Select daily rainfall records (inches) broken during March (Compiled from NOAA, NWS)

  Table 2

Figure 1. A graphical depiction of the monthly rainfall departure from normal (inches) for January is given in the figure below (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).

Figure 1
March CoCoRaHS Totals

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

Rainfall totals
Current State of the Drought

Average rainfall across the state during March kept drought conditions under control, with only lingering dry conditions in the northwest Panhandle. Heavy rain events on the 17th and 25th of the month caused some rivers in the north and north-central part of the state to rise, causing minor flooding issues. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting normal precipitation for April, May, and June, as the state enters the driest part of spring before transitioning to the rainy season in late May-early June.  

Drought Monitor
Odds and Ends

I continue to appreciate how understanding you observers are when you are contacted by someone at CoCoHQ or myself about a flagged rainfall value, and with how quick they were to reply to with validation or corrected totals. 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.


Make sure to check out the monthly Wx Talk Webinars offered by CoCoRaHS.  Each month features a different weather related topic and gives a chance for our observers to interact with the speaker.  If you are unable to attend or have missed some of the previous month's talks, you can find them archived on the CoCoRaHS YouTube site: 


Make sure to like Florida CoCoRaHS on Facebook!  Observers can now post comments and pictures to the wall. 

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