WEST PALM BEACH -- A Saharan Air Layer, with its dry air and warmer-than-average temperatures/lower instability will dominate across the South Florida Water Management District for several days resulting in greatly suppressed rainfall, except over the far west, where afternoon to early evening rains are possible, according to the Weekly Environmental Conditions Report released by John Mitnik of SFWMD.
Widely scattered shower activity will affect the Florida Keys and the southeast coast of Florida, but little areal average rainfall is expected.
Today, a greater coverage of interior and western rains is anticipated, where some rains could be heavy and continue into the evening.
A cold front will enter into north Florida by Friday morning resulting in an increased coverage of afternoon and evening rains over the interior and the northeastern to eastern half of the SFWMD. Over the weekend, total SFWMD rainfall will increase to above or well above the daily climatological average into early next week. The focus of afternoon-to-evening rains could be in the southeast or east, and then generally concentrate around and south of Lake Okeechobee.
For the week ending next Tuesday (May 31) morning, total SFWMD rainfall is predicted to be near the long-term average.
For the week-2 period, a trough of low pressure across Florida and the Gulf of Mexico will combine with copious moisture from a tropical disturbance or developing tropical cyclone to potentially produce above- to much-above normal rainfall. However, forecast confidence in exactly how much rain would fall is low.
Lake Okeechobee stage was 12.71 feet (above sea level) on May 22, 2022, with water levels 0.46 feet lower than a month ago.
Average daily inflows (excluding rainfall) decreased from the previous week, going from 1,369 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 1,115 cfs. Average daily outflows (excluding evapotranspiration) decreased, going from 4,087 cfs to 2,083 cfs.
The mid-May 2022 snail kite nesting survey revealed a total of 44 nests thus far, including 11 successes and 28 failures. Nests have also been recorded on Lake Hicpochee impoundments (26 nests; 12 active) and the C-44 canal impoundments (13 nests; 10 active).
The May 16-18, 2022 routine water quality monitoring survey on Lake Okeechobee revealed that 63% of the sites had concentrations of total microcystins below detection level. The highest concentration (0.4 µg/L) was recorded at CLV10A. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers levels below 1.0 µg/L to be safe for drinking water.
Approximately 72% of the sites sampled had mixed phytoplankton communities and 19% of the sites had communities dominated by Microcystis aeruginosa.