Soggy South Florida sets records for winter rain totals

The National Weather Service issued a sneak peek this morning on it’s December through February weather analysis, releasing rain totals today that are the highest on record or near record-breaking.

At Palm Beach International Airport, 19.9 inches of rain was measured during the past three months, qualifying this meteorological winter as the third wettest winter on record for West Palm Beach.

The record in West Palm Beach is 22.43 inches set in 1998.

Vehicles navigate standing water on Dixie Highway in downtown West Palm Beach during a tornado warning Wednesday morning, January 27, 2016. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Vehicles navigate standing water on Dixie Highway in downtown West Palm Beach during a tornado warning Wednesday morning, January 27, 2016. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Fort Lauderdale measured 17.07 inches, which is also it’s third wettest winter.

But Miami and Miami Beach both broke their winter rain amounts with 20.26 and 19.15 inches respectively.

It’s no surprise it’s been a soggy few months. South Florida’s water managers have been struggling to find places for all the water that’s fallen.

Read: Sea level rise worst in 3,000 years. 

Lake Okeechobee releases into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are at full throttle and water is being dumped south from water catchment areas into the Everglades.

On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency over the Lake Okeechobee water releases. Freshwater can damage the marine life that live in the brackish estuaries. Also there is some pollution runoff that comes with the Lake O water.

Dark Lake Okeechobee water seen flowing out of St. Lucie River. Photo provided by the office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Dark Lake Okeechobee water seen flowing out of St. Lucie River. Photo provided by the office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

“The negative effects of flood waters and harm to wildlife we are currently witnessing in these counties is only the beginning,” Scott said in a statement.

The order recognizes “extensive environmental harm to wildlife and the aquatic ecosystem” and “severe economic losses” to businesses that rely on the St. Lucie estuary and the Indian River Lagoon. It authorizes the state’s Division of­ ­Emergency Management to coordinate assistance for the three counties from state and federal agencies.

Dark Lake Okeechobee water seen flowing out of St. Lucie River. Photo by Ed Lippisch, provided by the office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Dark Lake Okeechobee water seen flowing out of St. Lucie River. Photo by Ed Lippisch, provided by the office of U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

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