Florida is generally known as a climate that receives a considerable amount of rain each year – about 58 inches annually to put a number on it. With this in mind, many people do not associate drought conditions with Florida. However, along with the high humidity, torrential downpour, severe thunderstorms and the occasional hurricane, drought is a naturally recurring part of Florida’s climate.
Currently, 66% of Florida is experiencing drought conditions, which is higher than any other state in the US right now. Several counties are under varying stages of drought, with a few experiencing extreme drought conditions. If the drought persists, which is expected at this point in time, we can expect several serious impacts in terms of crop and pasture losses, water shortages or restrictions, ongoing burn bans, and widespread wildfires. Many of us have felt some of these impacts already.
In the construction business, the dry conditions may seem like more of a positive. Instead of shutting down construction due to heavy rain on a regular basis, it allows for construction to continue relatively unhindered for long periods of time. There are some things to keep in mind, however, when faced with a drought.
From Dust to Ashes
Dust, for example, becomes a larger issue than normal. Sediment that moves off site via the wind is still a concern when it comes to erosion! Dust can also cause respiratory issues for workers on site, which can become a problem in the future. Grass and other vegetation will sometimes whither or die when not receiving enough water, contributing to the already problematic dust. Ponds become either excessively dry or much lower than normal. Finally, the threat of wildfire may seem like a worst case scenario, but the dry conditions, dying vegetation, and falling water levels mean that it does pose a threat. Several wildfires have already ravaged Florida.
Photo retrieved from: http://ufweather.org/2017/03/31/severe-drought-develops-florida#
More on Drought in Florida
Have a look at this interactive map for more information about the drought conditions in your area!