Drought, deluges recorded this year
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 10:21 p.m.
It has been a roller coaster of a year when it comes to Alachua County rainfall, with the area jumping from drought to summer deluges and back to drought-like conditions.
In the end, Gainesville received 54.4 inches of rain between Jan. 1 and Dec. 25. The annual average is 46.46 inches.
If it hadn’t been for a rainy summer Gainesville would have experienced a serious drought in 2012. As it was, the year started with Orange Lake dropping to one of its lowest levels on record.
Summer rains saved the day, with 35.93 inches — two-thirds of the year’s total — falling between May 1 and Aug. 31. In June alone, Gainesville received an all-time record of 16.34 inches.
During the other eight months combined — January through April, and September through most of December — Gainesville received only 18.43 inches, or five inches below normal during those months.
So far in 2012, the Gainsville area has maintained an eight-inch surplus, according to weather statistics.
Pete Wolf, the National Weather Service’s chief science officer in Jacksonville, said the fall trend of below-average rainfall should continue into the first part of 2013.
The service’s Climate Prediction Center is calling for rainfall to be slightly below normal through March. It is also calling for temperatures to be near normal, or slightly above, for those 90 days. That will be similar to the temperatures area residents experienced in 2012.
So far in 2012, Gainesville has featured an average daily temperature of 70.9 degrees, two degrees warmer than the annual average.
When it comes to fall 2012, which ran from Sept. 22 until Dec. 20, the daily average temperature was 66.6 degrees, or 1.5 degrees above normal. The average high temperature during the span was 78 degrees and the average low was 55.1.
During that same fall period, Gainesville recorded 6.03 inches of rain, which was just shy of the 7.64-inch average for those 90 days.
As the year comes to a close, the National Weather Service is calling for several chilly mornings today and Friday, followed by seasonable temperatures leading into the new year.
Average temperatures for this time of year are 66 degrees for the high and 45 for the low, official records state.
The county’s official forecast is issued by the National Weather Service, while the Sun’s weather page uses AccuWeather forecasts. Sometimes those predictions differ.
Contact Joe Callahan at 867-4113 or at email@example.com. Follow him Twitter at JoeOcalaNews.
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