YRARF 2019 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. Please read this Contingency Plan 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, posted at the Festival Updates Page at the website, and posted at the Hampton Inn & Suites. Weather/field 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 will make every attempt to keep you up to date on any changes.
WEDNESDAY: Beat the Crowds- if conditions prevent rice harvesting/rail viewing (it is raining or rain is imminent, it’s foggy, or fields remain too wet to harvest from a previous rain), then we will bird locally, focusing on other “wish list” species. There is no ‘harvest site make-up’ option.
Coastal Rail Survey - if conditions are considered dangerous (e.g., heavy rain/thunderstorms with lightening) then this trip will be shifted to Thursday evening and will leave from the Jambalaya Supper.If Thursday is not an option, then trip will be shifted to Saturday. Other Wednesday trips/activities go as scheduled unless weather or road conditions are deemed too dangerous.
THURSDAY: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 Orientationat Mike’s Seafood Restaurant at the Grand Marais complex in Jennings we will offer local trips, which will depart from restaurant parking area. If there is a chance that harvesting is possible later in the day, then arrangements will be made to regroup at the centrally located community of Thornwell for an update.The Jambalaya Supperwill take place as scheduled. NOTE: Wednesday’s Coastal Rail Survey- if weather on Wednesday canceled this activity and Thursday night is suitable, then trip will be shifted to Thursday night and will leave from the Jambalaya Supper at 6 PM(trip participants need to arrive and eat quickly/grab food to go). If Thursday is not suitable and Friday is, then the group will join the Friday Coastal Rail Survey group. If weather cancels Thursday and Friday trips, then Saturday will be the back-up and arrival on the coast willbe shifted later to 8:00PM (so that participants can at least briefly visit the Welsh Museum social).
FRIDAY: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 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 (!). We will add an additional Cameron Coast Trip / extend local trip(s) for other participants. 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. If there is a weather contingency, then participants will be assembled and groups will leave from the Hampton. If weather is predicted to be inclement for the Friday Coastal RailSurvey and it wasn’t already switched to Thursday, then trip will be switched to Saturday (and begin later at 8:00 PM). Crowley WTP/Falcon Rice Millwill 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.
SATURDAY- If rice-harvesting/rail viewing occurred on Thursday and/or Friday but Saturday is rained-out, then Festival Package holders will have the option to join an expanded local trip or a Cameron Coast trip. Saturday Cameron tripwill go as scheduled but only for pre-registered participants and only if trip was not shifted to Friday (see above). Saturday Pineywoods trip will go as scheduled, but only for pre-registered participants and only if the trip was not shifted to Friday (see above). If conditions prohibited rice harvesting Thursday and Fridaybut Saturday is OK for harvesting, then Saturday will be entirely devoted to harvesting and rail activities; there will be no Pineywoods or Cameron Coast trips. Coastal Rail Watch trip: If weather is predicted to be inclement Friday evening and the trip was not shifted to Thursday trip then it be switched to Saturdayand begin later at 8:00 PM so that participants may attend the Saturday social at the Welsh Museum.
SUNDAY: Rice-harvesting/rail viewing: if harvesting did not occur Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Contingency Plan Quick Review
How inclement conditions may affect:
Beat the Crowds– If rice harvesting/rail viewing is canceled then local birding will continue after lunch; there is no make-up rice harvesting/rail viewing option.
Wednesday Coastal Rail Survey– shift to Thursday evening and leave from Jambalaya, if Thursday not possible then shift to Friday evening and join Friday evening group (or Saturday if Friday is canceled).
Harvest site field activities/rail viewing on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday:
Thursday: If canceled then local birding instead departing from Grand Marais; harvest opportunities weather permitting on Friday and/or Saturday.
Friday: If canceled then options include a Cameron Coastal Trip / extend local trip(s); harvest opportunity if weather permitting on Saturday.
Saturday: If canceled then options include a Cameron Coast Trip /extend local trip(s); no make-up rice harvesting/rail viewing option.
Add Sunday harvest/rail viewing day if all field days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are previously canceled
Friday night’s Coastal Rail Survey may be shifted to Thursday (orSaturday evening):
If Friday night’s weather forecast (as determined on Thursday afternoon) is predicted to be bad, then the trip will be shifted to Thursdayand will leave from the Jambalaya Supper at 6 PM.
If this trip is canceled on Friday (and not previously shifted to Thursday) then trip will be switched to Saturdayand arrival on the coast later (8:00PM) so that participants can at least briefly visit the Welsh Museum social and grab some food to go).
Saturday’s Cameron Trip may be shifted to Friday orSunday:
If conditions prevent rice harvesting/rail viewing on Friday but the Saturday forecast looks as if it will be OK for harvesting, then trip will shifted to Friday and may depart somewhat later.
If harvest activities did not occur on Thursday or Friday and trip not previously shifted to Friday then trip will occur on Sunday.
Saturday’s Pineywoods Trip may be shifted to Friday:
If rice harvesting/rail viewing is canceled on Thursday and conditions Friday also prohibit rice harvesting, then trip will also be shifted to Friday (and may have a later departure).
If trip was shifted to Friday then it will not also occur on Saturday.
If no harvest activities occurred on Thursday or Friday, then this trip will be canceled.
The Weather Contingency Plan may be subject to change.
YRARF will make every attempt to keep you informed of any schedule changes.
Note that dangerous road conditions/weather may further cancel contingency options for these or other trips as shown above.
Following registration, all participants will receive a pdf of the 2019 Weather Contingency Plan.