Can Tropical Storm Fay be considered a drought-buster?
In Florida, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Fay may be considered one of the wettest storms on record when considering the widespread coverage of heavy rain that affected our three states. Rainfall totals from 8 to 12 inches were common across most of Florida, while the areas around Melbourne, Tallahassee, and the Big Bend saw totals over 20 inches. Lake Okeechobee has risen nearly 3 feet since the storm and South Florida Water Management District claims the highest 7-day rise in history. The lake, which drives water availability for irrigation in the south Florida area, is now at normal levels and the highest since May of 2006. Only west-central Florida and parts of the Panhandle received less than 5 inches. Radar estimated rainfall totals from the 14 day period including Fay’s impacts (Courtesy NOAA NWS). In Alabama, the rain came in slow-moving bands rather than torrential downpours, so much of the rain was able to soak into soils rather than running off as floodwaters. The storm