Originally published in The News-Press by Chad Gillis on August 13, 2020

The Everglades is looking at above-average rains this summer, but conditions are relatively dry in Lee and Collier counties.

While the 16-county South Florida Water Management District is averaging an inch above normal for this time of the year, Southwest Florida is nearly 6 inches below normal for the same period.

The 2020 rainy season will wrap up in mid-October and will be followed by a seven-month dry season.

Our region gets about 56 inches of rain in an average year, according to South Florida Water Management District records.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said there’s more to assessing the wet season than just looking at the numbers.

“You have to look at the timing and the duration (of the rainfall),” he said. “What we’re seeing now is one extreme or the other. Extreme dry or extreme wet, and that effects salinity levels in the estuary when we get basin runoff, but we really don’t have an estuary if it’s freshwater all the way to Sanibel.”

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