AquariusRadar Radar Rain Shadow
Home Ten year average for January thru May 2011/20 rainfall for Jackson and surrounding counties.
Hydrology Concept
Snowpack Enhancement
January through May rainfall 2011/20
Ideal Candidate Radar The ten (10) year average 2011/20 January thru May rainfall for Jackson County and the surrounding area was normal with most locations recording totals of 23-25" +/-.For May 2020, Jackson County received below normal rainfall. For the ten year average, most regions are near normal for the 150 day period. The dry conditions of spring 2011 and 2012 have been offset by wet conditions in 2013, 2015 and 2016. The extremes for the 10 year average range from a high of 30" at Argyle and a low of 18.5" at Bonifay in Holmes County. While 2013, 2014, and 2015-16 rains have been abundant, locations in the radar rain shadow continue in perpetual drought; Euchee Valley, Ponce de Leon, Bonifay, Graceville, and the Prosperty area received only half normal rainfall. The rain shadow drought is aggravated by periodic dry conditions caused by the reoccurring domes of high pressure which now dominate the region. A quick glance at the globe shows Jackson County in the area near 30 degrees north and the same latitude as most major desert regions. Historically, the Southeast US maintained a strong agriculture base with abundant rainfall because Gulf moisture collided with the unstable air of Temperate cyclones that were forced in a Southern arc by strong Polar high pressure systems. Global warming has weakened the Polar highs and strengthened 30 North "horse latitude" highs, forcing cyclones on a distant Northern track. Ambitious politicians who fight every attempt to restrain global warming have doomed Southern agriculture to a hardscrabble and unprofitable future. Data sources can be seen here.CoCoRAHS, NW Florida Water Conservation District, and at Florida Department of Forestry.
Hail Suppression Learn more about downwind rainfall patterns of powerful radars by veiwng the RadarRainShadow pages at the left.
Radar Rain Shadow Jackson Still and Prosperity, two important Department of Forestry rainfall reporting locations, have been closed due to state budget cuts. Bay, Holmes, Calhoun and Houston Counties have all lost CoCoRaHS reporting stations. This is unfortunate as these reporting stations previously demonstrated the extremes of the Radar Rain Shadow effect. Prosperity still reports occasionally. Other area stations continue to document the long term rainfall disparity between upwind and downwind counties. On the upwind side of the line, Arglye received 30+" while Bonifay, near the center of the rain shadow received but 18.5". Chipley, Ponce De Leon, and Graceville remain extremely dry. Some isolated areas near these communities received only 15". The once verdant fields and gardens of the Euchee Valley in Walton County are now mostly dry and barren. Euchee Valley was the original pioneer community of Walton County, noted for pockets of fertile hammock clay soils that a determined farmer could turn to profit. With the startup of operation of the big DoD radar in the middle 1970's, the rainfall situation changed dramatically; an entire generation of farm families migrated away from the land to other occupations and locals, all the while wondering how their pioneer ancestors scratched a livelihood from this dry country. The RadarRainShadow hovers directly over the valley. A similar situation exists in the valley of Holmes Creek, where rich hammock clay soils are exposed on rounded hills rising up on the climb from the valley floor. While the position of the line of the Radar Rainshadow will move with each storm system, the long term documentation will show results very similar to the 2000-2008 study that is documented on the Radar Rainshadow page and show once again that microwave energy can impact local weather in a big way. These devastating impacts on local agriculture are easily mitigated by operating the big radar in such a way as to avoid radiating on the thunderstorms developing over the Gulf of Mexico. Fresh rainwater is required for agriculture as irrigation water from the Florida aquifer is too salty (CaCo3). Deposits of salts encompass soil particles (peds) and reduce fungal populations; plants are unable to draw nutrients from the soil. Central Florida citrus has been damaged by sprinkler irrigation from the Florida aquifer resulting in the greening disease and citrus canker because of low fungal concentration in the soil. These impacted soils are unable to deliver the necessary nutrients to fight off the greening and canker viruses. Many of these disease outbreaks are related to residential areas that use aquifer water exclusively on the ornamental citrus. Drip irrigation provides more flushing action at the base of the individual plant and the salt deposit is not a great problem and certainly worth the greater expense of drip irrigation.
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