Last Modified: Sunday, September 23, 2012 9:33 PM
The roughly 25 inches of rain that fell in the Lake Area over the summer was good news for some harvesters but bad news for others, said Jimmy Meaux, an LSU AgCenter county agent.
Rice crops suffered the most from the abundance of rain in June and July, with some crops falling prey to diseases related to moisture and high humidity, Meaux said.
He said soybean harvests, which will begin within the next month, could also be affected by the summer showers.
“We aren’t sure how those yields are going to be yet, but the rain did the same thing to soybeans as it did to rice,” he said. “It was too much rain at one time.”
But that overwhelming amount of precipitation proved helpful for hay producers and cattle farmers, who benefited from the boosted plant growth, he said.
“The rains helped pastures a lot, especially since last summer there was so little rain,” Meaux said. “Some are still cutting hay.”
National Weather Service meteorologist Donald Jones said Lake Charles received 24.59 inches of rain over the summer, which began June 21. Though today is the first day of fall, he said, temperatures aren’t expected to be consistently low for at least another month.
“From year to year it varies when it starts getting cooler,” he said. “Chronologically, we will be getting cooler in the next month or so, but more so when specific cold fronts come through, dropping the temperatures into the 40s.”
Jones said the record low for this time last year was 51 degrees and that temperatures have been in the low to mid-60s the past few days, although cooler weather started earlier this year with recent cold fronts — which he said serve as a barrier against tropical systems.
“The chance of any kind of hurricane or tropical storm in this area are diminishing with each passing day, especially now that we are getting these cold fronts coming through more,” he said.
Jones said another cold snap is forecast for Sunday, but that it won’t be a “dramatic” difference in temperatures. The high Sunday is predicted to be around 88 degrees and the low near 63.
The summer averaged a high of 89.7 degrees and a low of 73.5 degrees, July through September.