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March 2019 Hydrology Report

Posted April 22nd, 2019

March 2019 Hydrology Report

Precipitation

The City of Winter Haven received a total of 1.7 inches gross rainfall during the month of March. This was well below the historic average March rainfall of 3.32 inches. Despite the below average rainfall, the total this month is still within the standard deviation–the low end is 1.04 inches on the low end of the range. Subtracting the loss of water from the area due to evapotranspiration (ET), the net rainfall for this month totaled at -1.81 inches. Rising temperatures and below average rainfall equate to high evaporation rates and an overall water loss from the area for two consecutive months. This water loss is not out of the ordinary, however, as ET rates are typically higher than rainfall until mid-Summer. The following chart displays the current monthly rainfall for the 2019 year so far (Figure 1). The Year Selector option allows for a visualization of rainfall from previous years.

Figure 1 

Surface Level

The monthly average surface level of the South Chain of Lakes decreased from 132.05 ft (NGVD29) in February to 131.9 ft in March of this year. The current monthly average still sits above the high end of the normal range for the Southern Chain (131.8 ft). Lake surface level changes typically lag roughly one month behind net rainfall; because of this, we should expect to see a continued drop in lake levels in the month of April. Figure 2 illustrates this change of lake levels in response to rainfall.

Figure 2

Groundwater

The monthly average surface elevation of the Upper Floridan Aquifer (UFA) in March of 2019 equaled 118.0 ft above sea level. The level of the UFA continues to remain well above the long-term monthly average of 114.8 ft. This is the third consecutive month in 2019 that UFA levels have exceeded the high end of the monthly normal range–117.63 ft in March. Wet weather during the Winter months has allowed the aquifer level to remain high for an extended period of time. Figure 3 illustrates the current level of the UFA during 2019.

Figure 3