ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando, Sanford, and Daytona Beach are all experiencing one of their top 15 wettest winter seasons on record to date.
- Central Fla. experiencing top 15 wettest winters on record
- RELATED: January in Central Florida Finished Wetter Than Average
- MORE: Spectrum News 13 Weather Experts Blog
Central Florida has had a few dry stretches this winter season (December through February) especially in the beginning of January.
However, as the outlooks were suggesting back in the fall, Central Florida is experiencing a wetter than average winter season.
The unsettled, rainy weather has been thanks to a weak El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.
Generally, when El Niño develops, the southern branch of the jet stream becomes more active, and it steers storms systems through Central Florida on a more consistent basis.
This is another reason why we’ve seen several rounds of strong storms and severe weather this year too. More cold fronts have been sweeping through the region bringing rain and storms.
This atmospheric phenomenon also brings more rain and snow to places like Southern California, the Southwest U.S., and Mountain West.
Places like California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado are seeing their snowpack at average or even much higher than average in some cases.
Here at home, Orlando has picked up more than 11 inches of rain. Through mid-February last winter, the City Beautiful had only seen 2.8 inches of rain.
That is 8 inches of more rain in Orlando over last winter! This is the soggiest winter since 2009-10 when nearly 12 inches of rain had fallen.
Sanford has picked up a little more than 9 inches this winter season, making it the wettest since the winter of 2009-10 when more than 10 inches fell.
Right now, it is the ninth rainiest winter-to-date for Sanford. Last year, only brought a little more than 3 inches of rain.
Daytona Beach has picked up more than 9 inches making this the 15th wettest. In 2015-16, Daytona had more than 10 inches of rain. This was also an El Niño year.
Melbourne and most of Brevard County have struggled to pick up meaningful, consistent rain after an abnormally dry fall season.
But this wet winter is slowly putting a dent in the ongoing drought conditions there. Since December 1 through mid-February, Melbourne has received more than 7 inches of rain making it the 17th wettest winter season to date.
In comparison, Melbourne only had a little more than 4 inches in the bucket at this point of winter last year.
Hopefully, this wetter than normal winter season will hold Central Florida’s wildfire season at bay after a dry fall.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the totals for the four main weather observation stations for Central Florida:
Percent of Normal: 192%
Winter 2017-2018: 2.80”
Percent of Normal: 156%
Winter 2017-2018: 3.14”
Percent of Normal: 162%
Winter 2017-2018: 7.77”
Percent of Normal: 126%
Winter 2017-2018: 4.20”