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Observations by Gary Fewless for Green Bay WI (Lat.N 44.51° Long. W 88.02° ), except as noted. For flowers lacking conspicuous petals or sepals I define "anthesis" as release of pollen by mature anthers.

February 2012 Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject
white spruce cones

Feb 29

A large winter storm swept through Wisconsin last night and today mostly missing the Green Bay area (1.8 inches of snow), but dropping prodigous amounts of snow farther north and west. The storm has been labeled "Bob" by the weather folks, but it may be easier to remember as the "great storm of leap day 2012" or something similar. Amounts in excess of 10 inches are common north of a line from Crivitz (10") to Merrill (16").
Laona 15 inches
EagleRiver 12"
Hiles 12"
Phelps 16"
Rhinelander 15"

In summary, the month of February 2012 was 8.9° F warmer than "normal"! And the winter of 2011/2012 is on track to be one of the notably warm winters on record.

Feb 28
Here's another example of frost heave. The expanding ice forces adjacent segments of the earth apart, causing rifts that look almost like cultivation. Note the frost forming deep in some of the cracks that may further move these areas about. Notice also the seeds of box elder (Acer negundo) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) lying on the soil, perhaps ready to sprout when it gets warmer. frost heave
Feb 26 The East River is ice-free downstream from Main St and Webster to the Fox River (Mike Draney). [still ice-covered farther upstream, GF]
Feb 20
High tempertature of 41° F again. The mild winter continues. The "normal" high temperature for this date is 30° F. February temperatures have averaged 9 degrees F above "normal" so far. Snow depth this winter has not exceeded 4 inches, and to date only 39 of 112 days (from Nov 1) have recorded snow cover of more than "trace".
Frost heave of trails appears to be more evident than usual at this date, UWGB. frost heave
Feb 19
Great frost on plants this morning, Allouez, Brown County. Later the temperature rose to 41 F. frost frost on moss

Two chipmunks out, Pensaukee, Oconto County (Tom Erdman).
Feb 18 Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) buds are beginning to swell, as they do before flowering.
Feb 16
Thick fog persisted through the night, freezing at times, and was still there in the morning in Green Bay. The fog disappeared about 11:00 a.m. and there was considerable blue sky thereafter. fog
Five or six immature Bald Eagles and a couple of adults are hanging around the mouth of the Fox River in Green Bay. Also a White Pelican. eagle pelican
Feb 15 Mild weather with a high of 38° F and most of the day above freezing. Heavy fog in Green Bay at 9:00 p.m.
Feb 13
Green Bay has been below freezing continuously since the night of the 9th with morning low temperatures of 2, 4, 6 and 7° F. Nearby Baird Creek is mostly frozen over now. Baird Creek
Feb 11 Cold air remains. The day's high temperature was only 17° F and the low was 4°.
Feb 10
Winter weather returns with an inch or two of snow and gusty winds to blow it around. The day's low temperature was 2° F. snow snow
There was strong odor of skunk this morning as I walked by the East River in Allouez. I've had several reports of skunks in the last two days, but this morning seemed unlikely with temperatures falling into the teens and blowing snow.  
Feb 9
Green Bay View of Green Bay from UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library. Click for larger view (470 Kb). Then click again for 600 pixels high.
The active birders undoubtedly knew this already, but I was surprised to see some White Pelicans over Green Bay this morning. I'm told that some pelicans never left this winter because there was sufficient open water on Green Bay and Lake Winnebago and perhaps elsewhere. There have also been reports of swans in the area.  
Green Bay has received only 15.6 inches of snow this winter, which is less than half of an average winter (33.7). Last year (third snowiest winter on record) we had 43.7 inches of snow at this time.  
Feb 8 Road kill Opossum, Shawano County. There have been large flocks of mallards feeding in the farm fields - Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb (Joel Whitehouse).
Feb 7 Skunk out and about (unfortunately a highway fatality), Oconto County (Tom Erdman).
Feb 6
In area where springs flow freely, the soil is unfrozen and some plants are already growing--this is very early even for the springs. For example, here is new growth of marsh marigold (Caltha palustris). marhs marigold
Some open water on Green Bay, Pensaukee area (Tom Erdman).  
Feb 5 Warm weather continues and among other reports of unusual sightings, Greater White-fronted Geese and Sandhill Cranes have been reported in southern Wisconsin.
Feb 4
Green Bay's high temperature of 44° F tied the record for this date, previously set in 1909.  
The warm weather has prompted some people in Oconto County to begin "tapping" sugar maple trees for sap. No reports on how successful they have been.  
On some sunny sites mosses have begun new growth and some have even put out their new reproductive structures, as here in Allouez, Brown County. moss
Feb 3 There was a huge and bright "halo" around the moon tonight in Allouez, no doubt resulting from the warm weather and high humidity. Unfortunately I was not able to get a photograph.
Feb 2
The Green Bay weather station reports snow depth as "trace" this morning and there is much bare ground, as here near MAC Hall at UW-Green Bay. Laona, 80 miles NNW has 10 inches of snow. snow at UWGB

Here's a view of the ice on Green Bay from the UWGB shoreline. The darker spots are thin ice. Ice is not reliable on many local lakes, including Lake Winnebago, and the annual sturgeon spearing season will bring many people out on the ice to take their chances.

Green Bay
Feb 1

Green Bay's high temperature of 40° F continues the mild weather and there was considerable melting of snow today. The East River in Allouez had a smaller river of melt-water on top of the ice. The morning low temperature was only 31°, so the melting continued most of the preceding night.

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Last updated on July 18, 2014