Thursday, August 11, 2011

July 2011; Recaping the "High's and lows."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported July 2011 was the fourth warmest July on record.  In a follow up article both Minneapolis and Chicago tied at 71% of the days above normal for the month.  Wisconsin Rapids, half way between the two cities, it is a reasonable deduction that we were above normal seventy one percent of the time too.

Data gathered from our on site golf course weather station produced some interesting statistics as well.  The highest temperature for the month came on July 20th with a recording of 96.6.  I know cannot expect sympathy from those folks living in Dallas.  Our highest mean temperature (averaging the high and low for the day was July 1st coming in at 85.4 degrees.  (Not a good for sleeping.)  The warmest overnight low was recorded at 73.3 degrees on July 18th at 2:30 AM!  (I recall driving into work in Evansville, Ind. when a bank clock registered 88 degrees at 4:30  AM.  Now you know why I like being a Northerner!)

Now for some precipitation stats.  The golf course received 8.18" of precipitation for the month.  (That figure includes some irrigation.)  Days of rain (>.01") was 25.  Last I checked there were only 31 day's in the month.  We had 14 days of rainfall greater than one tenth of an inch and two days of rainfall exceeding one inch.  We set cart restrictions in areas that were never restricted in the past due to the ponding of puddles. 
There was a record rainfall on the 28th of July 2.95 inches of rain fell in one hours time.  I believe the airport recorded 3.2," a new rainfall record for a one hour period of time.  This storm washed out all bunkers, cart paths and floated duff from the forest floor out onto fairways creating a wet blanket that needed to be cleaned immediately before it could suffocate the turf below. 

2.95" of rain completely swept the erosion control rip/rap from it's base down on the fifth hole.
With all that rain, it is easy to see why root systems are non existent.

Root length observed is less than 1/4" AND these came from one of our healthy greens!  Thus the basis for an early unscheduled aerification.
It seemed like every thunderstorm produced a new crop of windfalls and debris that required cleaning up.  The highest wind speed came on July 1st clocking in at 36 MPH at 11:30 PM.  This storm took down our pumps and dropped a paltry .08" inches of rain.  By the time power was restored, it was too late to run any emergency water as the course was full on this fourth of July weekend Saturday.  On July 11th a wind gust of 31 MPH was recorded.  However I'm very thankful the storm that nailed Steven's Point only grazed us leaving us with a handful of fallen limbs to clean up in its aftermath.  About time we got break.  With all the wind and rain, we still managed to record 9 days of evaporation in excess of two tenths of an inch/day!  I remember manning hand hoses constantly in a effort to keep our compromised root systems alive for another day.

Those are the grizzly details from a beastly month.  Stay cool!  _Mk