25 June 2009

Ample Rainfall Nourishes West Table Playa Wetlands

Rainfall amounts in excess of an inch that were spread about Custer County a few days ago have been a boon for the playa wetlands of the West Table.

"These pictures do not capture the size nor number of the playas, there are so many, it is outstanding!" said Maxine and Ed Wehling, residents of the area. "We had tornadic activity near us, around the Arnold area, to our west about 20 miles. We received 1.20" of rain, and no damage" at our vineyard.

The following are the rainfall amounts for June 24th reported to the National Weather Service office at North Platte. Each measurement was the 24-hour rainfall furnished by an observer for the Nebraska Rainfall and Information Network.

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       10 SW ANSELMO           41.52N 100.00W
06/24/2009  M1.07 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       1 W SARGENT             41.64N 99.39W
06/24/2009  M1.03 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       6 SSW BERWYN            41.27N 99.54W
06/24/2009  M1.02 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       8 NE OCONTO             41.22N 99.65W
06/24/2009  M1.54 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       2 N BROKEN BOW          41.43N 99.64W
06/24/2009  M1.03 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

0700 AM     HEAVY RAIN       ARNOLD                  41.42N 100.19W
06/24/2009  M1.38 INCH       CUSTER             NE   PUBLIC

The recent rainfall event continues the regular precipitation that the Wehlings have noted for the past month.

The playa wetlands "have been energized for the last month or more, as we have had consistent, ample rains," the Wehlings said, and provided some photographs to illustrate the water conditions.

A playa wetland just south of the Wehling Vineyards, shown in the background. A pair of ducks is present on the water in the second image. Last month, two Great Blue Herons stayed for about a week or more in this playa, the Wehlings said.

The Great Blue Herons also used this playa, just west of the playa shown in the two previous photographs.

"A portion of the large playa that supported the whooping crane pair this past April, 2009. In the background, is a cell tower to the left, and to the right is a MET(eorological) tower British Petroleum Alternative Energy had installed in the 2005-2006 time frame."

Looking to the southeast. In the background is one of the MET towers BPAE had installed in April, 2009 to analyze the wind conditions.

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