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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.

January 2002

Observations by Gary Fewless, except as noted

Date Observation (Click on links for photos)
Jan31 Here's the daily high and low temperatures for this winter so far and the longterm average highs and lows, Nov 1 thru Jan 31. There was a total of 12 inches of snow for the month (another several inches that fell after midnight will count toward February's total. The total for the entire winter so far is 13.8 inches at the Green Bay weather station.
Jan30 The water level of Lake Michigan was expected to fall dramatically this winter due to warm temperatures and the lack of ice cover on the lake. However, as of Jan 29 the water level has only fallen about 0.4 feet (4.8 inches) since the end of September. The water level is actually about 8.5 inches higher than last year at this time.
Jan28 A skunk was out and about on UWGB today. The colder weather moving in should put an end to the unusual sightings of the last few days.

The high temperature of 46 F is a new record for this date. The previous record of 45 was set in 1944. There is still some snow where it was piled up and in shady sites, but most open areas are snow free.

There are still 26 Tundra Swans along Green Bay's west shore in Oconto County (Tom Erdman). Although one or two winter stragglers have been spotted there over the years, a flock of this size overwintering here is unheard of.

A report of an unknown frog in a flowing spring on UWGB.


An unseasonably warm day with high temperature of 45 F in Green Bay. Many people out walking and jogging and even a few on motorcycles.

Two Double-crested Cormorants reported at the mouth of the Fox River and two (immature) Black-crowned Night Herons north of the Depere Dam (Ida Bauman via Wisbirdnet).

Midges flying in deciduous woods in southern Brown County.


There is still a Double-crested Cormorant near the mouth of the Fox River (from Wisbirdnet). Presumably this is the same bird that has been here all winter. Another individual has been reported overwintering in the Fox Cities area.

A couple of reports of Skunks out and about in Door (Jan 21) and Brown County (Jan 24) (Pete Wolter).


First report of a Redtailed Hawk on nest in Green Bay (Wisbirdnet).

WI DNR reports some Black Bears temporarily out of hibernation in northern Wisconsin.

Jan23 High temperature of 38. Streets are mostly clear and dry in Green Bay.
Jan22 Today's high temperature of 44 F is 21 degrees above the average for this date. The little snow we had is rapidly melting. The grass of even well-kept lawns is showing through the snow in Green Bay.
Jan21 A warming trend since the morning of the19th. This is a slow period for plant and animal phenology observations. It's a good time of year to have backyard bird feeders. Check out our "photo of the week" for photos of a Short-tailed Weasel.
Jan19 A low temperature of -6 F yesterday was the coldest day of the winter so far, and this morning was a close second at -5. Only a dusting of snow in the last few days. Warmer air is approaching, so it appears to be a brief cold period.
Jan17 Today's low of 4 F in Green Bay is the coldest temperature of this winter so far (the average low for today is 5 F).

Mild weather continues in spite of a little new snow. WI DNR still is reporting unsafe ice conditions in the south and even in northern WI the ice is unpredictable and there are reports of thin ice, in some cases with water or slush on top. There are virtually no cars or trucks on the ice and even snowmobiles and walkers are cautious. Some reports of ice shanties being removed from lakes due to recent warm weather and deteriorating ice.


Another 3.4 inches of snow fell yesterday. The total for the entire winter in Green Bay is 6.3 inches. By my estimation northern Door County has about 5-6 inches of snow on the ground. Sturgeon Bay has only a little ice at the edges.

Warm temperatures have persisted since about the 4th of January. Note that there have been only 4 days since Nov 20 for which the low temperature was below the average for that date, and then by only a single degree in each case. You can also see on the graph that we have nearly reached the low point of the annual temperature cycle. The average high and low for Green Bay go no lower than today's values of 22 and 5 F respectively. The daylight reaches its minimum about Dec 21 each year, but the temperature lags behind by about a month. If we disregard fractional degrees, the average high temperatures begin to rise Jan 20 and the lows on Jan 26. Shouldn't that be some kind of holiday?

Jan13 Snow began yesterday and continued today for a total of 1.1 inches at Green Bay.
Jan10 The mild weather feels more like early March. There is not a trace of snow left in the Green Bay area, unless you really hunt for places where it was piled up in shady spots. The water at the mouth of the Fox River is open to Cat Island and Lone Tree Island.

Unless you want to ski, this is about as nice a January day as you could wish for. As of 2 pm, the National Weather Service in Green Bay is reporting 52 degrees! Marinette 55! The previous GB record high for this date was 49F.

Some colder nights in late December and the first few days of January helped to establish ice cover over most inland lakes, but many are still not safe to drive or even walk on. The current warming trend will make the risk even higher. WIDNR reports "dozens" of instances of snowmobilers and ATV users going through the ice, including two fatalities.

Winter sports are still severely limited in Wisconsin, except in the Lake Superior "snow belt". There are reports that pressure on ski and snowmobile trails is very heavy in Michigan's upper peninsula where there is more snow.


Report of a flock of 250-300 Robins in Columbia County (wisbirdnet). Several people have reported spring-like behavior in local birds, singing cardinals, etc., plus red-tail hawks have been checking out nest sites.

High temperature of 40 F and low of 21 (record high was 43 in 1949). The averages are 23 and 6 respectively. The forecast for tomorrow is low to mid 40's, but the record is 49.

Jan06 Warmer weather and perhaps winds of recent days have resulted in large open areas in the ice-cover in Green Bay (Tom Erdman).

The ground is nearly free of snow in many places throughout Wisconsin, except for the Lake Superior snow belt.

There are still large flocks of Canada Geese in the Horicon Marsh area, seen flying overhead and feeding in fields adjacent to Hiway 151 (Gary Fewless). Tens of thousands of geese were reported in the marshes at Horicon yesterday (wisbirdnet).


There were 6 Trumpeter Swans sighted on the Wolf River at Shawano, and 2 Mute swans (wisbirdnet).

Jan03 A single Double-crested Cormorant is still being seen at the mouth of the Fox River (wisbirdnet).
Jan02 Single digit cold again this morning and heavy frost.


Most of Green Bay is now frozen over and even most of the slower reaches of the Fox River are frozen, although there is a little open water at the mouth. Click here for the view from the mouth of the Fox River (tip of Longtail Point at right in distance) or here for the Fox R at Main St. Tom Erdman reports birds on the water of Green Bay at Pensaukee 12/31, but today is frozen.

About 200 Bohemian Waxwings reported near Chute Pond area of Oconto County (John Woodcock via wisbirdnet).

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Last updated on May 20, 2015