Bad weather slowing us down

Written by Terry Liddick
Thursday, May 13, 2010

Terry LiddickWell, it is the 13th of May and we are sitting again because of bad weather. We arrived in Pierre, SD on 30 April and Mother Nature didn’t treat us very well. We got in one day of reconnaissance 3 days later and were not able to fly the first day of the survey until May 8th. If the wind wasn’t blowing 30-50 MPH, it was raining. We finally got out of Pierre on May 11th in less than optimal conditions, but good enough to fly 2 survey lines on the way to Dickinson, ND. We managed to fly two more lines yesterday, May 12th, but again, had to wait a few hours in the morning for weather (fog mostly) to lift. Again today, until the weather clears out of Dickinson this morning, it will still be raining to the east near Bismarck, where we need to go.

Overall, the conditions we are seeing on the ground are pretty good. This particular area in the western Dakotas is pretty dry country overall to begin with, but the basins and stock dams that we are seeing are pretty much full of water. In some places they are even overflowing! So the conditions so far are good! Of course, we have had a lot of recent rain, but the winter snow was pretty good as well, and most of the water we are seeing in the natural basins and stock tanks should persist well into the spring. Starting tomorrow, May 14th, it looks like we should finally see a run of good weather and we hope to finally get a good chunk of the survey accomplished. We have another day here in Dickinson and then we move west into Montana.

N763 on the ramp at Dickinson, ND after another morning down due to rain (Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

N763 on the ramp at Dickinson, ND after another morning down due to rain Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Tim Hanna from Western Edge Aviation at Dickinson. He provided us with great service every day while in Dickinson. If you are flying through Dickinson, stop by and say hi and thank him for all the support in helping pull the survey off! (Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Tim Hanna from Western Edge Aviation at Dickinson. He provided us with great service every day while in Dickinson. If you are flying through Dickinson, stop by and say hi and thank him for all the support in helping pull the survey off! Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Blue skies, but strong winds kept us down several days while in Pierre, SD(Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Blue skies, but strong winds kept us down several days while in Pierre, SD. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Wetlands near Sturgis, SD(Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Wetlands near Sturgis, SD. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Cheyenne River Valley(Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Cheyenne River Valley. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Cheyenne River Valley  (Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Cheyenne River Valley. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Cheyenne River Valley 2(Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Cheyenne River Valley. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

Cheyenne River near Phillip, SD (Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

Cheyenne River near Phillip, SD. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS

North of Rapid City, SD (Credit:  Terry Liddick, USFWS)

North of Rapid City, SD. Credit: Terry Liddick, USFWS