Broward County has joined Palm Beach County in the extreme drought department, the National Weather Service in Miami said.
Between Oct. 31 and March 3, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport – one of Broward’s primary weather reporting stations – recorded 6.42 inches of rain, or 13.15 inches below normal.
Palm Beach International Airport recorded 7.47 inches of rain, or 13.29 inches below normal. Miami, a relative oasis, recorded 8.03 inches, or 7.96 below normal.
The main reason for the parched conditions: High pressure has settled in over South Florida, acting to block rain systems associated with cold fronts from reaching this far south, the weather service said.
As a result, the wildfire danger has increased markedly. Underground water reservoirs are running low. Lake Okeechobee’s level is about 2.4 feet below normal for this time of year. And water managers are urging residents to continue conserving.
Meanwhile, as previously reported, the weather service’s long-range outlook calls for a drier than normal spring. That means all of the above consequences are likely to steadily worsen until the rainy season kicks in, in late May.
Today’s forecast: Sunny with highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 60s. Tuesday and Wednesday should be similar.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun