As we approach the middle of the wet season, June and July were particularly wet. June recorded 8.13 inches of rain, which is 0.77 inches above the historic average of 7.36 inches and July recorded 10.04 inches of rain, 2.41 inches above the historic average of 7.63 inches. Lake County is at 102% of the year to date rainfall.

As of this morning Lake Minnehaha, the reference lake for the Clermont Chain, is at 96.52 ft. MSL, 0.98 ft. (slightly more than 11 inches) below the upper end of the regulatory range. The regulatory range is from 96.0 ft. to 97.50 ft. The lake is about 0.35 ft. (about 4 inches) lower than it was at this same time last year. The combined flow from Big and Little Creeks into Lake Louisa is currently 142 cfs (cubic ft. per second) or 63,848 gpm (gallons per minute). As a comparison, in October 2017 after Hurricane Irma, the combined flow from Big and Little Creeks was 659 cfs or 289,960 gpm. The Cherry Lake Dam has remained closed since the end of March.

For the Harris Chain of Lakes, all the lakes are near the regulatory levels. Lake Apopka is currently at 65.87 ft. which is 0.22 ft. (about 2.4 inches) above the regulatory level of 65.66 ft. 100% of the flow from Lake Apopka is through NuRF and as of this morning, flow is at 200 cfs or 89.800 gpm (gallons per minute). The middle lakes (Beauclair, Carlton, Dora, Eustis and Harris) currently average 61.86 ft., which is 0.12 ft. (about 1.4 inches) above the regulatory level of 61.74 ft. Flow from the middle lakes through the Burrell lock and dam is at 419 cfs or 188,131 gpm (gallons per minute). For Lake Griffin, the lake is currently at 57.80 ft. which is 0.06 ft. (about ¾ of an inch) below the regulatory level of 57.74 ft. Flow from Lake Griffin through the Moss Bluff lock and dam is at 499 cfs or 201,601 gpm (gallons per minute).

The rainy season typically continues through September; however the hurricane season usually doesn’t get going until later in the summer and ends November 1st. Hurricane Irma hit in September 2018 and Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. In addition, it was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille of 1969. It was the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane in the contiguous United States, in terms of wind speed.

The late summer is the peak of hurricane season so please remain vigilant. Water Authority staff watches the lake levels closely and will respond as necessary as the summer rainy season and the tropical storm season continues.

Meanwhile, enjoy the great late summer weather and please be safe while out on the lakes.