Buresh Blog: Rainy season has arrived... cut back on the watering!... June night skies

Jacksonville, FL — “Talking the Tropics With Mike" - daily updates on the tropics.....

If there was any doubt, our rainy season has arrived! Most of NE Fl./SE Ga. has had at least 3-5″ of rain so far this month with more than half the month to go. The weekend of the 6th was particularly wet with more than half a foot of rain for parts of Western Duval, NW Clay Co. & west along I-10 to Lake City. The Doppler estimated rainfall map below is over 3 days from the 7th through the 8th:

So with the wet season here (more than half our annual rainfall falls from June through September), St. Johns River Management District reminds us:

Summer afternoon showers and tropical rainfall mean that Mother Nature may be able to handle much of your lawn sprinkling over the next few months, saving water and your money. That’s why the St. Johns River Water Management District’s summertime water conservation message is “Watch the weather. Wait to water.”

Florida’s rainy season extends from May through October, typically accounting for up to 70 percent of our annual rainfall totals. The period from June to September includes the wettest months, with most rainfall monitoring stations in the district typically receiving 5 to 7 inches of rain during each of these months, compared to 2 to 3.5 inches in the winter and spring.

It is important to note that in most years, there is a slight difference between inland stations — for instance, Orlando and Gainesville — where the wettest month occurs early in the season, in either June or July. At coastal stations, such as Daytona Beach and Vero Beach, the wettest month usually comes later in September or October, when the impact of heavy rains from tropical activity are more frequent.

Since these are average patterns, it is best to pay attention to your local conditions — watch the weather, wait to water.

Here are some tips for taking advantage of Florida’s summer rains:

  • Check your forecast to see if rain is on the way. A weather app is an easy and convenient way to stay up to date.
  • Use a rain gauge to determine how much rain your yard has gotten. During June through September, yards need no more than ½ to ¾ inch of water every two to three days.
  • If you use an irrigation system, know your watering days. District watering restrictions allow enough water to maintain healthy landscapes year-round. The mandatory restrictions specify the hours when watering may occur, the amount of water that may be applied, and the days when watering may occur for residential and nonresidential locations. Visit www.sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions/ to learn your days.
  • You can use the “catch can” method to determine how much water to apply to your landscape and to see if you are watering uniformly. Watch it here. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F09sRfYmdM)
  • Make sure your gutter downspouts are directed into landscaped areas or lawn. Consider installing a rain barrel to capture excess rainwater.
  • Decrease watering time during cool or humid conditions and skip a scheduled watering after a moderate rainfall.
  • Check to see if your rain sensor is working and the controller is not in bypass mode — that way, your system won’t run if there has been recent rain. Many people aren’t aware that rain sensors are required on all automatic irrigation systems.

For more information, visit the Water Less campaign online at www.WaterLessFlorida.com.

Night skies into early July courtesy sky and telescope:

June 13 (dawn): The last-quarter Moon and Mars are 5° apart.

June 19 (dawn): A razor-thin crescent Moon and Venus rise together only 1° apart just before dawn.

June 20 (day): June’s solstice occurs at 5:44 p.m. EDT. It’s “early” this year due to leap-year addition of Feb. 29th.

June 21: An annular (ring) solar eclipse occurs, visible from Africa and southern Asia but invisible from N. America.

June 25 (evening): A pretty crescent Moon is perched 5° above Regulus, the alpha star in constellation Leo the Lion.

July 4 (morning): Earth reaches aphelion (farthest orbital point from the Sun), 94,507,635 miles away (center to center).

July 5 (evening): Jupiter and Saturn rise in late evening just 6° apart, joined by just-past-full Moon.

Moon Phases

Last Quarter - June 13, 2:24 a.m. EDT

New Moon - June 21, 2:41 a.m. EDT

First Quarter - June 28, 4:16 a.m. EDT