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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 2013 Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject
moss and liverwort

Feb 28

The edge of the big storm that swept the plains earlier this week hit Wisconsin a bit harder than expected, with some Lake Michigan shoreline locations getting 12-14 inches of snow. High winds helped to drift the snow and make travel difficult. Green Bay received only 2.4 inches.

Green Bay reports 18.9 inches of snow for February 2013 (might get a bit more before today is over). The average temperature for the month was about 1.4 degrees below the avearge for February.

Feb 26 Another large winter storm has moved across the plains, leaving snow, high winds, closed highways and power outages in Texas, northwest Oklahoma and Kansas. Amarillo in the Texas panhandle received 19.1 inches of snow yesterday, the most in the last 120 years. The storm will stay mostly to the south of Green Bay as it moves east. It appears that North Carolina and Virginia are getting some snow and a lot of rain and icy roads today as the storm turns north and east.
Feb 25 Green Bay still has about 10 inches of snow on the ground.
Feb 22 The storm of the last 2 days has now swept into the midwest and is headed east with a reported 20% of the U.S.A. population under winter storm warnings. There is snow in Wisconsin and there are thunderstorms in the southeastern U.S.A. [Green Bay had 4.4 inches of snow Feb 22 and 0.6 more after midnight]
Feb 21 The storm described yesterday dropped more than a foot of snow in Kansas (up to about 15 inches) and brought some major highways to a literal standstill as cars were unable to move on slippery hills under deep snow.
Feb 20 A large and unusual winter storm swept into Arizona, causing postponement of a golf tournament and even causing the cancellation of some airline flights. Perhaps three inches of snow fell in Tucson and up to 6 inches in Flagstaff, before the storm swept east and north across the plains.
Feb 19 Green Bay received 2.3 inches of snow and a morning low temperature of 7 degrees, but the Cardinals are still singing.
Feb 18 In spite of 6 inches of snow on the ground and a generally winter-like atmosphere, we have begun to hear Cardinals "singing" in our neighborhood.
Feb 17
Lake Michigan Shoreline Green Bay's morning low temperature was -9° F, our coldest temperature of the winter to date. The main basin of Lake Michigan is generally ice-free, but Green Bay remains ice-covered, except for some areas at the north end where wave energy from the Lake has pushed large pieces of ice around. The lake levels are as low as anyone alive has ever seen, and the open water will promote more loss to evaporation during the relatively dry air period of winter. Much of the snow-covered foreground in the photo is lakebed, now exposed by low water.
Feb 14
snow Snow, fog and mist most of the day today in Green Bay, but little water in the precipitation--perhaps 0.25 inches total. It looks like mid-winter, but 2 or 3 weeks will bring a big change. [It produced 2.5 inches of snow, but contained only 0.19 inches of water, gf]
Ravens and Woodpeckers courting, Oconto County, Pensaukee area (Tom Erdman).  
Feb 13 Great frost the last couple of mornings. frost
Feb 11 Overnight low temperature stayed above freezing last night and there is some fog this morning, feeling a bit more like March than February. The forecast is for falling temperatures into the teens tonight which is likely to form ice over much of our area by tomorrow morning, and freezing temperatures are predicted throughout the next several days.
Feb 10
    Green Bay's high temperature reached 40° F today together with about 0.5 inches of rain and the local snow cover has diminished conspicuously. Local ponds and ice-covered streams are accumulating melt water on top of the ice.
phragmites inflorescence The plant shown at left is called giant reed (Phragmites australis). It is a very large alien species, and it has invaded thousands of acres of marsh in the Great Lakes since the late 1990's, crowding out native plants and the animals that depend on them. Notice the large inflorescence in the right hand photo, which produces the seeds.
seeds seed

At left is debris from Phragmites inflorescences, including wind-blown seeds which can be found in densities in excess of 100 per square meter, at least 50 meters from the nearest plants along Green Bay's East River. The seeds don't fall cleanly from the flowers as is often the case in plant species, but rather they remain inside the flower parts (lemma and palea) in which they are produced, as shown in the righthand photo.

Feb 8
storm As yesterday's storm proceeds east from Wisconsin it is being joined by another storm system from the south and together they are expected to drop up to 3 feet (!) of snow on the northeastern USA, accompanied by high winds. [The storm delivered as predicted with many localities receiving about 25 to 30 inches of snow and at least one reporting 38 inches. Over 600,000 people are without electric power as of the morning of Feb 11]
Feb 7 Green Bay received 3.5 inches of snow, and there was another 1 inch yesterday. More on the way.
Feb 4
  It's official, the Lake Michigan January water level was at an all time low, with well over 100 years of data. The monthly average of 576.02 feet is the lowest ever and the level is predicted to continue to fall during the next month, at least. The low levels are the latest in a relatively long period of low water levels, causing numerous problems for shoreline dwellers and the shipping industry.
stream Here's a frozen stream in the arboretum. It is unusual to have this much ice in the stream since it usually is dry or nearly so in the early winter and doesn't fill again until spring meltwater flows.
Feb 1 The national weather service reports a snow depth of 8 inches for Green Bay. Last year the snow depth was 0 (trace) on Feb. 1, and in the previous year it was 11 inches. Also, last year's low temperature for Feb 1 was 31° F and this year it was -4. The weather has been quite variable and the concept of "normal" is not very helpful at any given time.

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Last updated on April 17, 2014