Parts of Central Florida now officially in a drought

Moderate drought conditions arrive northwest of Orlando

Drought Monitor

ORLANDO, Fla. – While there has been gloomy and wet weather more often than not in Central Florida over the last six weeks or so, the moisture hasn’t amounted to much.

Last week, the western half of Central Florida was highlighted in the “abnormally dry” category by the United States Department of Agriculture for the first time this dry season. With no rain over the past week, areas northwest of Orlando are now considered to be in a moderate drought. The drought monitor is released every Thursday morning by the USDA.

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For the month, most of Central Florida is running about an inch below normal.

Month to date

For the year-to-date, most of the region is running about 2 to 3 inches below normal.

Year-to-date rainfall

The drier-than-normal weather pattern for the second half of winter into early spring was highlighted in the winter outlook from the Climate Prediction Center. This is largely due in part to the La Niña weather pattern being present. La Niña typically brings drier and warmer-than-normal weather to the southeast U.S.

The drier-than-normal weather will no doubt lead to an increased wildfire risk as the dry season continues. The dry season typically comes to an end in May when the daily rain and storm chances return from the generation of the sea breeze.


About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.