A Community Collaborative
Rain, Hail & Snow Network

 Newsletter                                      April 2015
Florida CoCoRaHS State Coordinator / Asst. State Climatologist
(850) 644-0719 [email protected]
Observer Comments Corner

March flew by in a whirlwind of yellow pollen. To some, it felt like we skipped spring and went straight into summer. I admit that after turning on the heat a few times in February, the switch flipped directly to air conditioning by the second week of March. In addition to dealing with the sudden onslaught of pollen, I bounced around the local area, talking to students about severe weather safety. Though my favorite presentation in March, involved teaching kindergartens the Water Cycle Boogie.


So with that, here are a few of the comments that caught my attention in March.

FL-PB-9 on 3/1/2015: "rain started a little before noon and lasted until about 5:45 pm with a few light showers after that. between noon and 2:00 the rain was torrential. after that the rain became lighter but still mixed with heavy downpours.


FL-GL-13 on 3/12/2015: "Last observation until about October.

FL-VL-32 on 3/24/2015: "Poor Beach Day - Sustained 15 mph northerly winds an resultantly 'light' blowing sand under heavily overcast skies with fog/mist (vis > 1/2 mile).

FL-SL-33 on 3/27/2015: " Partly cloudy during day, more overcast towards afternoon. Strong winds from the west bringing abrupt rain. Temporary though noticeable ponding of water in swale and road intersections in some areas. Draining over a period of 2-3 hours (no damage).

FL-HL-2 on 3/30/2015: "Last crisp morning of the year here @ 36.8 F. What a treat for the end of March! Summer returns tomorrow morning with temps 25 degrees warmer.


1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Yes, it's official: There is a CoCoRaHS gauge at The White House.  Yes, THE White House!


On March 23rd, DC-DC-19 came online on the same day The White House hosted the fourth annual White House Science Fair.  The gauge has been carefully installed, leveled and bevelled in the First Lady's Kitchen Garden. Not only was this a huge accomplishment and honor for CoCoRaHS, but this was a wonderful way to put the spotlight on the importance of education through citizen science.  Nolan was there, trusty rain gauge in hand, to take part in the ceremony. By the looks of the pictures, it was a great event... and it's not every day you say that Bill Nye the Science Guy photobombed you at The White House.


Observer Photos

This month, Ric shared some stunning pictures he'd taken with his Celestron telescope of Jupiter. The first picture was taken on a clear night on the 4th of March.  The second one was taken on the 12th.  He mentions that by watching the bands and how they move and change on the face of Jupiter, you are making weather observations. The second picture shows the 'Great Red Spot' and the black dot is the shadow from one of Jupiter's moons.




Carol was also kind enough to send some beautiful pictures of fog on New Smyrna Beach from early this month. 



If you've got any pictures you took on your travels, rainfall, floods, drought impacts, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, or anything else you'd like to share, please send them to me.

Quick Facts About March Observations

Registered Observers: 
Active Observers: 
Reports Submitted: 
Date of Most Reports: 
456 on the 1st
Highest Rain Report:  
9.83 on the 1st (FL-MT-25)
Number of Observer Comments:1,353
March Rains

Rainfall totals were well below normal across the state in March. With the exception of Lee County, FL, the entire state had rainfall totals below normal (Figure 1). Departures from normal roughly ranged from -0.57" to -3.43" (Table 1), though localized parts of the state saw rainfall totals that were as much as 5.00" below normal (Figure 1). March 2015 was the 9th driest March on record for Daytona Beach. A significant rain event took place in Walton, Okaloosa, and Washington counties on the 22nd, where some locations along the coast picked up over 5.00" of rain. Despite the fact that rainfall totals across the state were below normal, 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 March is given in the figure below (courtesy of NOAA, NWS).

March CoCoRaHS Totals

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


Current State of the Drought

At the end of February, nearly 22% of the state was experiencing abnormally dry (D0) conditions, with the main concentration of the dryness located in the western Panhandle and southern Florida. Light widespread rainfall was seen over the Panhandle and North Florida on the 6th, while spotty shower activity was seen in South Florida from the 7th through the 9th. The rainfall over the area prompted the removal of D0 from most of Palm Beach County and portions of Collier County at the beginning of March. During the middle of the month, light and spotty rainfall was seen across the Panhandle and Peninsula, with some localized areas seeing up to 1.50" rainfall. When the drought monitor was released on the 17th, there had been an expansion of the D0 conditions in the Panhandle to include Holmes, Washington, Jackson, Bay, Gulf, and Calhoun counties. On the 23rd, a heavy band of rainfall (up to 5.00") in coastal portions of the Panhandle counties, and on the 24th, rainfall up to 2.00" was seen in some of the Central Florida counties. By the time the last drought monitor map was released for the month, D0 had been expanded in South Florida to include Palm Beach, Glades, and Martin counties. Moderate drought conditions (D1) were also expanded within Collier and Dade counties, and severe drought conditions (D2) had been introduced into southern portions of Dade County. Based on data, roughly 3.5 million Florida citizens are currently being impacted by drought conditions that are being reported in nearly 32% of the state. At the end of the month, the water level in Lake Okeechobee had dropped to under 14 ft., mainly due to regulatory releases  

Odds and Ends

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.