Rainiest winter on record of Fort Myers, FL ends

01 march 2016


The meteorological winter of 2015-2016 is the wettest winter in recorded history for the city of Fort Myers, Fla. according to official tallies by the National Weather Service. Between the months of December, January and February constituting meteorological winter, the city picked up a record-smashing 18.71" of rain. That`s more than three times above the normal amount of 5.8" of rain. Meteorological winter constitutes the three coldest months of the year in the northern hemisphere: December, January and February.

For scientific studies and record keeping purposes, meteorological seasons are utilized as opposed to astronomical seasons for consistency. Meteorological seasons always come in three-month increments whereas astronomical seasons can vary from year to year. This year`s meteorological winter became record-breaking after the tremendous amounts of rainfall the city picked up during the month of January. Typically during the month of January Fort Myers receives 1.94" worth of rain. This January though the city observed a staggering 12.98".

Before this winter the most amount of rain Fort Myers was able to pick up between a December to February stretch since 1902 when records began was 15.59" during the winter of 1982-1983. Fort Myers was not alone in it`s significantly rainier winter than normal. Punta Gorda in Charlotte County measured 14.47" of rain this winter. That`s a surplus of more than 8" of rain above the 6.01" the area typically gets, good enough to put the winter of 2015-2016 as the fourth wettest on record.

In Naples, the city measured 10.34" of rain between December 2015 and February 2016. That`s just less than double the normal amount of 5.4" of rain the Collier County city usually sees in winter. The wetter than normal winter Southwest Florida has seen can be traced back to the influence of the strong el Nino taking place in the Pacific Ocean. El Nino is a natural occurrence developing every couple of years in the Pacific where water temperatures in the ocean along the equator off the coast of South America trend warmer than normal.

The warmer water in the Pacific supports rising air over the ocean. This in turn with the atmosphere`s prevailing winds helps to bolster the subtropical jet stream over North America. During el Nino winters the jet often sets up further toward the south as opposed to its more northern location during normal winters. This helps steer storm systems further south during the winter, offering Florida and the southeastern United States more opportunities for rain, severe weather episodes and in return cooler than normal temperatures. // www.nbc-2.com





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