Summer 2012: TS Debby highlights wet conditions

Summer 2012 - Tropical Storm Debby Highlights Wet Conditions

The Summer of 2012 will be remembered mainly for its wetter than normal conditions across all of Northeast Florida and portions of Southeast Georgia. This was punctuated by Tropical Storm Debby's deluge during the last week of June that brought as much as 2 feet of rainfall to some locations of north Florida along the Interstate 10 corridor. Meteorological summer is defined as the months of June, July and August for this climate summary. The local climate stations used for this summary include Jacksonville, FL (JAX - history dates back to 1871), Gainesville, FL (GNV - history dates back to 1890), and across southeast Georgia, Alma and St Simons Island, (AMG & SSI - history dates back to 1948).

After 2 back-to-back summers with above normal warmth, the summer of 2012 ended up with temperatures near to slightly below normal and this was mainly due to the above nomal precipitiation across most of the region and abundant cloud cover associated with that daily convection. In fact, at the climate stations of JAX, GNV and SSI the maximum temperature never reached the upper 90s with all three locations reporting 96 degrees as their summertime high temperature. Across inland southeast Georgia, where summer precipitation was closer to normal, temperatures did get slightly warmer with one notable heat-wave in the latter half of July where temperatures crossed the century mark a couple of days, although summertime average temperatures remained slightly below normal there as well.

June to August Temperature Data Average Temperature Departure Highest Lowest Number of days >= 90F (Departure)
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 80.4 F - 1.0 F 96 F on 7/26 59 F on 6/18 51 days ( - 6 days)
Gainesville, FL (GNV) 80.7 F + 0.1 F 96 F on 7/8 62 F on 6/28 59 days ( + 4 days)
Alma, GA (AMG) 80.2 F - 0.8 F 102 F on 7/25 60 F on 6/19 59 days ( Normal )
St. Simons Island, GA (SSI) 81.2 F - 0.5 F 96 F on 7/8 64 F on 6/3 39 days ( + 4 days)

Tropical storm Debby was the highlight of the summer as it remained nearly stationary in the eastern Gulf of Mexico fore several days in late June before finally crossing the Florida peninsula and exiting into the Atlantic Ocean. This scenario, in addition to, a stationary frontal boundary extending eastward from the storm across north Florida near the Interstate 10 corridor allowed for multiple days of heavy rainfall with totals of 15-25 inches along the I-10 corridor and lesser amounts north and south of the boundary. This not only broke long-time rainfall records across northeast Florida but produced record major flooding along the main stem river of the St Mary's along the Florida/Georgia border, but near record flooding along the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers of Inland Northast Florida and nearly broke the all-time record flood on the "flashy" Black Creek basin in Clay County.

While the overall summertime precipitation totals did not set any records, Tropical Storm Debby did set a number of rainfall records across northeast Florida at

Jacksonville, FL (JAX)

* 2nd highest 1-day rainfall total on record - 7.36" on 6/25 (All-time record is 7.82" on 8/20/1968)

* All-time 2-day rainfall total on record - 12.56" on 6/25-26

* 2nd highest 3-day rainfall total on record - 13.78" on 6/24-26

* 2nd wettest June on record at 16.58"

Gainesville, FL (GNV)

* All-time 1-day rainfall total on record - 6.95" on 6/24 (Old record was 5.77" on 8/31/1912)

* All-time 2-day rainfall total on record - 10.42" on 6/24-25

* All-time 3-day rainfall total on record - 12.02" on 6/24-26

* All-time wettest June on record - 16.34"


June to August Precipitation Data Precipitation Departure Rank Highest
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 26.31" + 6.51" 15th wettest 7.36" on 6/25
Gainesville, FL (GNV) 29.03"
+ 9.45"
11th wettest
6.95" on 6/24
Alma, GA (AMG) 14.68"
- 1.48"
  2.33" on 7/26
St Simons Island, GA (SSI) 19.02"
+ 3.83"
17th wettest
2.93" on 6/25


The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecasts for the remainder of the year (October through December) are expecting equal chances of above, below or near normal temperatures, while the precipitation forecast is for slightly greater than normal chances of above normal precipitation totals to continue through the end of the year. The CPC forecasts can be seen here.

Please send any comments or questions to Jason Hess/Climate Focal Point at

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