Yuma County, and the whole region, has experienced a rare prolonged stretch of rainy weather.
Yuma itself received 10.54 inches of rain from May 7 through June 30. That covers eight weeks in which the community received an average of 1.32 inches per week.
There was 27 days of measurable rainfall, 11 in May over its last 25 days, and 16 in June. The longest measurable stretch of no measurable rainfall was six days, May 19-24. June had a five-day streak of no rain, June 23-27.
However, the rains returned just in time to send out the month on a soggy note. The damaging storm that rolled through last Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, along with another early-morning rainfall on Friday, followed by more that afternoon, dropped 1.26 inches.
That brought June’s total to 5.85 inches; May’s total was 4.69.
All figures are based on the measurements recorded at the CoAgMet weather station located at the Irrigation Research Foundation site. Of course, total inches vary throughout the region, with some areas receiving more, and some less. It is also not so rare to receive significant rainfall that adds up to around 10 inches, but rare it is when it consistently falls over the course of two months.
The rainy season began on Sunday, May 7, when Yuma received 0.19 of an inch. The single-day mark came on May 11, when a consistently-strong rain fell all day, totaling 2.08 inches. The next wettest day came on June 21, when 1.7 inches fell.
There was the potential for more heavy rain in the extended forecast for Tuesday through Saturday of this week, July 4-8. Many communities in the area were taking the pre-emptive step of canceling their Independence Day fireworks shows, as it seems the rain predictions are almost always coming true.
In fact, the rains did roll in late on the Fourth of July, dumping another 0.45 of an inch, followed by more rain at daybreak on Wednesday.
The Yuma community spent last Thursday morning cleaning up the mess left behind by a damaging storm that rolled through at about 12:30 a.m.
Dawn revealed multiple tree branches strewn all over, and yards and streets carpeted with leaves stripped out of trees.
There were a few full trees that were completely toppled over on the south side of town. There was one large pine tree that had been uprooted from where it once stood right in front of a residence at the corner of W. Seventh Ave. and S. Cedar St. Luckily, it fell toward the street. Another tree fell on top of a pickup on W. First Ave.
Strangely, though the whole town got hit by the storm, the north side of Yuma escaped any tree damage that was seen on the south side.
The City of Yuma opened the vacant lot located behind the former nursing home as a temporary branch dropoff site. The pile of tree branches quickly grew.
The storm featured high winds, plenty of hail (some as big as golf balls) and one-half inch of rain. The hail did its dirty work on gardens and flowers.
It also spread into the countryside, causing significant damage to some wheat and corn fields. Local agronomist Merlin VanDeraa estimated the damage area extended from Hyde to the west to about Schramm Feedlot to the east, roughly two to three miles north and south of Highway 34.
“The good thing around the Yuma area is there are only a handful of fields that won’t recover,” VanDeraa said. “Most of the corn is going to recover. Some wheat fields maybe had a 75-percent loss.”
Prior to the storm that hit the Yuma area, an even-more damaging storm cell pummeled north Yuma County a few hours earlier on Wednesday evening, stretching from around Clarkville to the county line to the east.
It particularly hit hard in the northeast corner, severely damaging corn, potato and watermelon fields. Greg Brophy said he found a handful of plants that may live in his watermelon crop north of Wray.
“If they do, they will need to start with fresh growth and so will be seven to 10 days later than normal,” he said.
Brophy added it might be enough for friends and family at the end of August, but one likely will not be finding any Brophy watermelons in the local grocery stores this summer.
There was some talk that multiple corn circles north of Wray might be replanted, in the hope of at least salvaging it for silage.
Plus the stretch between Burlington and Idalia was pounded by a severe storm Friday afternoon. It appeared that the hail damage was significant.
All the rain in May and early June did wonders for the current winter wheat crop.
However, current and continuing rains are more of a hinderance as the plants have stopped taking in water, which is just prolonging the plants finishing out and being ready to be threshed.
Plus, hail is starting to show up more throughout the area. Some fields in the area have suffered moderate to severe damage, but the majority seem ready for big production.
“Most of the wheat has a really good chance for significantly-above average yields,” local agronomist Merlin VanDeraa said.