Following an exceptionally dry rainy season and a prolonged period of dry weather that lasted from the majority of October through the first part of November, the drought situation in Southwest Florida is still getting worse.
This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor states that portions of Cape Coral, south Fort Myers, and western Collier County are experiencing a severe drought, according to an article by Meteorologist Jason Dunning of NBC2.
In addition to the severe drought, a category 1 drought has spread eastward, affecting a larger portion of inland Collier County and eastern Charlotte County. Western Hendry County is now experiencing unusually dry weather.
Even though November is usually one of the driest months in Southwest Florida, the rainy season this year was dryer than usual, which left us with a significant rain deficit for 2023.
Naples has the greatest annual rainfall deficit (-27.68″) of any city. At the official record-keeping Naples Airport, just 19.72′′ of rain have fallen this year. 47.40 inches of rain falls on average between January 1 and November 10.
Although Fort Myers’ current rain deficit of -14.41 inches is not as bad as Naples’, most of Lee County still needs rain badly.
Most of Charlotte County is either experiencing a moderate drought or exceptionally dry conditions.
The Punta Gorda Airport’s rain deficit is 6.66 inches as of November 10.
Unfortunately, there is just a probability of rain throughout the weekend, with a few isolated showers predicted.
Although most forecast models predict less than an inch of rain, mid-next week is our next best chance for rain.
An vigorous El Niño should help bring the possibility of wetter-than-normal weather to South Florida, which is good news as we approach winter.
The article originally appeared on NBC2.