biodiversity homepage      

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.

December 2009new snow heavy on branches and wires 12/09/2009

Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject

Dec 29

The morning low temperature fell to -2° F and the slight wind of about 5 mph (early) was surprisingly cold on exposed skin. It has risen to about 13° by noon.

There were numerous dead shagbark hickory leaves on top of the snow this morning, mostly due to the gusty winds out of the north and northwest yesterday. Some tree species, including shagbark hickory, tend to hold dead leaves on the trees into the winter and in the case of the oaks, sometimes until spring. Fagus grandifolia (beech) is another species that tends to hold leaves after they are dead.

Dec 27 There was a thick frost covering just about everything this morning, as here along the East River in Allouez, and in the top of this green ash tree.
Dec 23

Lower Green Bay appears to be mostly ice-covered now, as seen here from Bayshore County Park in northeastern Brown County.

On inland lakes the ice conditions are variable. The weather had been relatively warm until the recent storm (see Dec. 10) so the ice was not thick yet. The heavy layer of snow on the thin ice causes it to sag a little and water finds its way to the surface causing slushy conditions, plus the ice is now insulated from the air and freezes more slowly. The last reports I've heard were that the ice thickness is highly variable and fisherman, snowmobilers and others on the ice should exercise extreme caution.

Dec 22 The snow has settled a bit on UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum, but it is still difficult walking off the beaten path. Snowshoes and skis appear to be the preferred means of travel.
Dec 18

Just for future reference, one of the current environmental issues is the meeting of world leaders in Copenhagen to discuss efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions--a factor in global climate change.

Another issue revolves around efforts to try to prevent the entry of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes.

A third issue of high interest in Wisconsin involves unhappiness of hunters with the recent lower deer harvest during the gun hunting season in November. This issue is emotionally charged. In spite of charges that the WI DNR has decimated the deer population in Wisconsin, similar declines have been reported in neighboring states.

Dec 17 Green Bay reports 9 inches of snow on the ground today. The deepest was 13 inches on the 10th.
Dec 16 A cold day with low of -1° F and high of only 12°. Here's a photo of UW-Green Bay's Prairie Pond today.
Dec 12 The temperature fell to -5° F again this morning, but the daytime high reached 33° for a welcome change.
Dec 11 Today's low temperature was -5° F, the lowest so far this winter, and the high was 10°, the lowest high temperature of the season. Rhinelander, about 100 miles NW of Green Bay, had -14° F this morning. Only 10 more days until winter begins!
Dec 10

Green Bay and most of Wisconsin experienced a record breaking blizzard for our first significant snow of the winter. Beginning on Dec 8 and running through Dec 9, the storm dropped 14.6 inches at the U.S. Weather Service station on the west side of Green Bay and 16+ inches in neighboring Allouez, Depere and others. The snow was accompanied by sustained winds of 30+ miles per hour and gusts to 48 mph in Green Bay and 78 (!) in Marinette. Pressure fell as low as 973 mb, which is in the range of a Class 2 hurricane. This was the biggest December storm in Green Bay's recorded history and the Dec 9th snowfall (11.1 inches) was the 6th largest 24 hour snowfall ever. Here are some photos from UWGB and University Avenue in Green Bay.

The storm began in the far western U.S. and left heavy snow across the midwest, and on to the east coast after it left Wisconsin.

After the big low pressure system that brought us the snow storm passed through our area it dragged in a big volume of cold Canadian air behind it. Today's low temperature was -1° F and the high temperature was 12°. This is a common scenario here at this time of year. A low pressure system moves in, temperatures warm up and it snows, followed by a blast of cold northern air as the low moves east. Repeat until it gets muddy.

On the positive side snowshoeing (is that an acceptable verb?) is great.

Dec 9 A definite trend is developing as the low temperature of 12° F continues the cooling trend of the last few days. Big snow continues with many cancellations and closures. Green Bay received 11.2 additional inches of snow as measured at the U.S. Weather Service at the airport, on the west side of town. Very windy.
Dec 8 The morning low of 17° F is the lowest of the winter to date. The snow began late in the day and we got 3.5 inches before midnight.
Dec 7 The morning low of 18° F is the lowest of the winter to date. A large snow storm, now in the Great Plains, is headed our way.
Dec 5

The East River is fully ice-covered by early this morning--no ice at 7 pm last night. The location is at Beaupre St. in Allouez. Last year it froze there on Dec 2. The average date for the river to become ice-covered (and then stay continuously ice-covered until spring), is Dec 5, data going back to 1991. The range of dates is quite large (58 days). The earliest freeze was Nov 12 (1996) and the latest was Jan 9 (winter of 2006/07). See the notes for March 27, 2008 for a discussion of the East River ice cover.

The St. Joseph St. storm water detention pond is only frozen at the north and south ends (froze completely overnight Dec 5/6).

Today I saw Canada Geese walking on the (very thin) ice in the middle of the East River for the first time this season, East River south of Mason Street, City of Green Bay (Mike Draney).

Dec 4

Light snow in Green Bay. There is also snow broadly in the middle of the country, including parts of Texas and Louisiana.

Prairie Pond at UW-Green Bay is fully ice-covered. Over-night low was 20° F last night, which is the coldest temperature of the winter to date. The day time high was only 26° F.

Ice has begun to form at the edges of the St Joseph St. storm water detention pond (Allouez), by about 7 p.m. No ice on the East River near the pond at that time.

Dec 1

It has been quite mild, but the overnight low temperature of 27° F was enough to form thin ice over about the northern third of the storm water detention pond in Allouez, Brown County this morning. The Prairie Pond at UW-Green Bay was completely iced-over, but the day warmed quickly to a high of 46° and the ice all melted.

I saw a Great Horned Owl sitting in a large shagbark hickory as I walked my dog tonight.

The full moon is tomorrow, but it's close enough to fool me tonight.

© 2001-2004 The Cofrin Center for Biodiversity and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, All Rights Reserved
Last updated on May 20, 2015