MIAMI (CBS4) – If you have noticed your umbrella collecting dust over the last few months, there is good reason for that.

The last three months have been the driest span on record in South Florida, according to the South Florida Sun -Sentinel.

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The South Florida Water Management District reports that from the October-to-December time period, just 2.97 inches of rainfall fell. That is only about 35% of the average rainfall and the lowest total since official record keeping began in 1932.

In December alone, an average .92 inches fell in the 16-county district.

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The SFWMD is calling for voluntary cutbacks while officials work to determine if mandatory ones will be imposed.

La Nina atmospheric conditions are to blame for the drier season. CBS4 Meteorologist Craig Setzer says the atmosphere is greatly influenced by the temperature of the oceans.  One strong ocean temperature pattern is El Nino where the Pacific near the equator waters are warmer than normal.  The opposite is La Nina where the Pacific ocean near the equator is cooler than normal.  This cool water pattern forces the jet stream into a position the typically brings little rain to South Florida.

This year, despite La Nina’s drying influence we are being hit with arctic cold fronts due to another feature in the atmosphere involving a weaker than normal branch of the jet stream around the North Pole.  South Floridians can expect drier and cooler than normal weather to continue into the early spring.

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The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.