South Florida rainy season starts early

Forecasters made it official on Tuesday, pronouncing that South Florida’s wet season has officially begun — a week ago.

The National Weather Service said the recent string of dark skies and wet roads point to a May 8 start of South FloridaÂ’s annual rainy season, almost two weeks earlier than average.

South Florida’s wet season, which usually begins around May 20 and runs until mid-October, typically produces about 70 percent of the regional rainfall. Those five months help keep the Everglades healthy and water supplies recharged or — if the rains don’t show — produce droughts that kill crops and lawns.

Much of the region needs the rain after a winter and fall that were dryer than normal.