Drought conditions intensify across Central Florida

Several counties now in a severe drought

ORLANDO, Fla. – The dry season has been living up to its name recently. While this is the driest period of the year, the region is running anywhere from 3″ to 6″ below normal in the rainfall department.

The latest drought monitor released Thursday from the United States Department of Agriculture now has parts of Central Florida in a severe drought.

Northern Seminole, northeastern Lake, western Volusia and extreme southeastern Marion county are now considered to be in a severe drought.

The drought monitor is released every Thursday by the United States Department of Agriculture

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The rest of Central Florida remains in a moderate drought.

For March to date, Orlando has only picked up .55″ of rain. Since Jan. 1, only 1.89″ of rain has filled the gauge at the Orlando International Airport.

Leesburg for the year has received even less.


The expanding drought conditions through winter and spring were predicted prior to the start of the season. La Niña conditions typically fuel warmer and drier than normal conditions for the southeast U.S. including Florida.

All of the active weather over the past several months has been west of the Rockies. Los Angeles for example has picked up more than 20″ of rain for the year to date. That puts them more than a foot above normal in the rainfall department.

Longstanding, extreme drought conditions have continued to ease for the Golden State after months of heavy rain and snow.

La Niña has since been declared over by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center so we will likely see the drought ease over the coming months.

The wet season starting, typically in late May or early June, will also help the overall drought situation.

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.