2019 could be West Michigan’s wettest year on record

Posted at 4:06 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 16:35:39-04

WEST MICHIGAN — With three months left in the year, West Michigan needs just under 9 inches of precipitation to have the wettest year ever since records began back in 1892.

2019 has seen 40.03 inches of water with the record high being 48.80 inches back in 2008.

What do we typically see in October, November, and December? A little over 9 inches of precipitation. If we stay the course and see normal amounts of rain and snow through the end of the year, 2019 will go down as the wettest year so far.

All this rain continues to impact roads and farms across the area. A few roads in Montcalm County now have large potholes in them, with one van even getting stuck in standing water for hours.

On the other side, farmers are all too familiar with long periods of rain. Planting was delayed this spring due to wet weather.

Since Sept. 1, West Michigan has seen anywhere from 6 to 15 inches of rain. Farmers are once again scrambling as they try to get the delayed crops out of the ground and replace it with something else.

"A lot of farmers in Michigan are trying to get some wheat planted. With the wet spring, there is a lot of acres that never got planted to corn or beans." says Sparta farmer Jeff VanderWerff. "Obviously, the rainfall will continue to put that back by a week or so."

While this may seem like one of the worst years for farming in recent memory, Jeff says a similar scenario actually happened not too long ago.

Back in 1987, it rained all spring. Once the summer rolled around, West Michigan began to dry up before another wet period in the fall. While farmers were certainly impacted, they made it through the year.

Soybeans are seeing the brunt of the issues as the rain continues to fall and then sit in the fields. According to Jeff, soybeans need dry weather and wind to get them ready for harvest.

Just like in the spring, farmers are hoping Mother Nature brings some dry and mild weather back into the area for at least a few weeks.