YRARF 2023 Weather Contingency Plan
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival rice harvesting/rail viewing activities are highly dependent on good weather and rice dry enough to harvest. If conditions do not allow a farmer to harvest fields, then we can’t look for rails during harvest activities.
OUR CONTINGENCY PLAN
Please read carefully so you are aware of possible alternate scheduling in the event of inclement weather or unsuitable field conditions. As soon as can be determined, a schedule change will be announced by email and posted at the Festival Updates page at this website. We reserve the right to not follow planned scheduling if impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic; we will adhere to CDC guidelines and amend activities as necessary. However, at this time we anticipate that YRARF 2023 will return with a full agenda like years prior to the pandemic! For the YRARF 2023, we have resumed our socials but will keep number of participants lower. Note that in addition to a possible field day cancellation due to weather/field conditions, such conditions may delay harvest activities thus making it necessary to be on ‘stand-by' waiting for conditions to improve. Please monitor weather forecasts to anticipate possible schedule changes. YRARF 2023 will make every attempt to keep you up to date on any changes.
WEDNESDAY: Pre-festival trips and how they could be impacted.
Wednesday Coastal Rail Survey. if conditions are considered dangerous (e.g., heavy rain/thunderstorms with lightening) then this trip will be shifted to Thursday or Saturday evening. If rescheduled to Thursday, then this trip will depart from the Jambalaya Supper in Lake Arthur; if rescheduled to Saturday, then this trip will depart from the Welsh Museum social event. Note that these contingencies are necessary because only one field trip group can participate during a banding survey.
Other Wednesday trips/activities will go as scheduled unless weather or road conditions are deemed too dangerous at which point trips will be canceled and not re-scheduled.
Rice Harvesting/Field Site. If conditions prevent rice harvesting/rail viewing (it is raining or rain is imminent, it is foggy, or fields remain too wet to harvest from a previous rain), then after the Welcome Orientation at Gator Chateau/JD Parish Tourism office in Jennings, everyone will be on their own. If there is a chance that harvesting is possible later in the day, then participants will be notified ASAP by email regarding harvest site location and start time. If possible, arrangements will be made for participants to stage at the Thornwell Warehouse Association for an update. The Jambalaya Supper will take place as scheduled.
Rescheduled Wednesday’s Coastal Rail Survey. If weather cancels Wednesday trip and Thursday night is suitable, then this trip will be shifted to Thursday night and will leave from the Jambalaya Supper at 6:30 PM (trip participants need to arrive and eat quickly/grab food to go). If Thursday is not suitable and Saturday is still available (= Friday evening Black Rail survey was not shifted to Saturday) then the Wednesday’s trip will depart about 7:30 PM so that participants can at least briefly visit the Welsh Museum social and grab some food to go.
Local AM trips will depart as scheduled unless conditions are considered too dangerous (e.g., heavy rain/thunderstorms with lightening); if canceled, then participants are on their own. WTP/Falcon Rice Mill will take place as scheduled unless weather conditions are unsafe for travel. NOTE: Participants signed up for both the Friday Rice Mill Trip and the Saturday Cameron Trip would have to forego the Rice Mill Trip if the All-day Saturday Cameron Trip is moved to Friday.
Rice Harvesting/Field Site. If conditions prevent rice harvesting/rail viewing on Friday but the Saturday forecast looks as if it will be OK for harvesting, then we will SHIFT the All-day Saturday Cameron Coast Trip TO FRIDAY. The rationale here is that even if weather conditions are “bad,” then birding on the coast will still be possible and may even be above average if migrants are grounded (!). If rice-harvesting did not occur on Thursday and conditions Friday also prohibit rice harvesting, then Saturday Pineywoods trip will also be SHIFTED TO FRIDAY. However, note that due to timing of weather events or field conditions, it may be difficult to predict when we would be able to make the decision to cancel Friday Harvest activities (Thursday PM or on Friday AM) and the timing of our decision may influence whether the Pineywoods Trip (due to the distance) may end up abbreviated. Crowley
Friday Coastal Rail Survey. If bad weather is predicted for Friday evening, then this trip will either be moved up to Thursday evening or delayed to Saturday evening, depending on the outcome of the Wednesday evening coastal rail watch trip. If rescheduled to Thursday, then the trip will depart from the Jambalaya Supper event in Lake Arthur - participants will need to arrive at the Jambalaya Supper promptly so that they can eat and/or grab food to go. If the trip is rescheduled to Saturday, then the trip will depart from the Welsh Museum social and departure time will be later than normal (7:30 PM) so that participants may attend the social, eat to go/grab food, etc.
Harvesting/Field Site. If rice-harvesting/rail viewing occurred on Thursday and/or Friday but Saturday is rained-out, then Festival Package holders are on their own Saturday. If Thursday and Friday were both canceled and Saturday is OK for harvesting, then Saturday will be entirely devoted to harvesting and rail activities; All-day trips to the Pineywoods or Cameron Coast will be canceled.
All-day Saturday Cameron. This trip will go as scheduled unless the trip was shifted to Friday (see above) or cancelled in the event that Thursday and Friday were unsuitable for harvest site activities (see above).
All-day Saturday Pineywoods. This trip will go as scheduled unless it was shifted to Friday or cancelled in the event that Thursday and Friday were unsuitable for harvest site activities (see above).
A Rescheduled Coastal Rail Survey. Depending on outcomes of Wednesday and Friday coastal rail survey trips, if either of those trips is cancelled, then Saturday (or Thursday) is the possible back-up date. If a coastal rail survey is shifted to Saturday, then departure will be later than normal (7:30 PM) so that participants may attend the Welsh Museum social, eat/grab food, etc.
Emergency Back-up Harvesting/Field Site. Rice-harvesting/rail viewing: if and only if harvesting did not occur Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
All-day Sunday Cameron. This trip will go as scheduled unless weather is deemed unsafe, or unless the trip must be cancelled because Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all unsuitable for harvest site activities (see above).
If it sounds complicated - it is!
YRARF 2023 will make every effort to keep you informed of upcoming schedule changes due to weather or other issues.