The National Weather Service held their annual “Wet Season Outlook” news conference Thursday at their headquarters on the campus of Florida International University.

According to the NWS, the dry season 2011-2012 was drier than normal. In fact, November through January was the driest in the 80 year record of South Florida Water Management district for that three month period.

April was wetter than normal. According to South Florida Water Management, April rainfall was 133 percent above the historical average. This helped alleviate drought conditions along the east coast of South Florida.

Overall, the region is still in a rainfall deficit of about 5.50 inches for the dry season that began in November. Lake Okeechobee, our backup water supply, is 1.92 inches below average for this time of year.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a near normal amount of precipitation for the upcoming season. Typically we receive two-thirds of our annual rain fall during the wet season, roughly 35 inches of the 52 inches that falls on average annually.

On average, South Florida’s rainy season begins on May 20th and ends around October 13th, lasting about 21 weeks.

The wet season has three general phases. The first phase, Memorial Day weekend through July 4th weekend, are typically the wettest six weeks of the year. The second phase, early July through mid August are usually hotter and often drier. The third phase is late August through October, which is characterized by highly variable rainfall mainly due to tropical activity and cold fronts.