National Weather Service reports a month’s worth of rainfall in week
ARENAC COUNTY — During the inclement weather that passed through Arenac County Tuesday, April 26, through Thursday, April 28, the National Weather Service of Gaylord said more than three inches of rainfall were reported in Arenac County.
Meteorologist John Boris said reports from a spotter in Standish show 3.31 inches of rainfall between Tuesday morning and Friday morning.
Boris said 0.59 inches of rain were reported Tuesday, 0.95 were reported Wednesday and 1.03 was reported Thursday.
“That is a lot of rainfall for a 48-hour period,” he said.
The monthly average for rainfall in April in Arenac County is 2.5 inches. Boris said that was exceeded in a matter of a few days.
“Arenac County received an entire month worth of rain in few days,” he said.
The large amounts of rainfall also caused flooding across the county. Boris said statistics taken in Sterling, from the Rifle River, show the flood index reached 9.8 feet. The flood stage height is six feet.
“The rain and water has nowhere to go,” he said. “We had the snowfall early in the month, now that has been topped off with this rain. The capacity for the soil to hold water has been reduced.”
Farmers Richard and Tim Jurek of Jurek Farms Inc. of Twining said the weather has made this growing season completely backward from last season.
Richard Jurek said as of this time, nothing has been planted in their 2,750 acres of farmland north of Twining.
“Last year, we had an early spring,” he said. “So far, this season has been a total opposite.”
Tim Jurek said the weather outlook shows that more moisture will be coming to the area through June 15. If that forecast is true, Richard Jurek said farmers in the area could see a decrease in their yields.
“Weather has always played a large role in farming,” Richard Jurek said. “This is another obstacle we will have to overcome.”
Richard Jurek said when the growing starts late, production could be down depending on when the season ends.
“We could have a late fall season,” he said. “We have to hope for the best.”
Unlike the Jureks, some farmers around Arenac County have already planted some of their crops. Richard Jurek said some farmers he has talked to are happy they planted, while others wished they had not.
“For us, our gun is loaded, and we have our finger on the trigger, ready to go,” he said.
Richard Jurek said the size of the work force for many area farms will help keep many farms on track with a late growing season.
“As recently as 10 or 15 years ago, we did not have that,” he said. “Now, everyone working on a farm can so many things with technology and knowledge.”
Both Richard and Tim said if they do not have crops in the ground by May 10, they would have to make a decision about changing to crops that can produce a better yield in a short period of time.
“This is not the first year we have had a late start,” Richard Jurek said. “It won’t be the last.”