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.

January 2010needles of balsam fir on upper, fertile branch

Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject

Jan 30 Tonight was the full moon, and it was the largest of the year. The moon's orbit is elliptical (not perfectly circular), so some parts of the year it is closer to the earth and the moon will appear larger. Tonight the diameter was about 14% wider than at the smallest appearance. The moon seems even larger soon after it rises, when it is near the horizon and can be scaled against the tree line. Clear and cold today with a low temperature of 0° F and a high temperature of 20°. I still am not hearing the Great Horned Owls in our neighborhood--the first year that I can recall for which they didn't perform. Maybe my hearing has slipped another notch.
Jan 29 Morning low temperature of -3° F. The monthly photo above is of our Abies balsamea (balsam fir). The needles are conspicuously flattened over most of the tree, but the upper portions which produce comes are of a very different shape. The needles are not flattened, being about as thick as wide, and 4-angled, very similar to those of our spruces (Picea spp.), although easily distinguished by the method by which each needle attaches to the twig. During this mid-winter period you may want to learn more about our native trees.
Jan 28 Another very cold day as the low reached 2° F and the temperature has risen only to 5° by noon, with winds 10-20 mph all morning. Here students take advantage of the mid-day sun in the "winter garden" of UW-Green Bay's Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. [temperature to 8° briefly in afternoon before falling again; avg wind speed 13.7 mph]
Jan 27 Winter returns with enthusiasm as our low temperature was 4° F and the high only 15°. With brisk winds, the chill factor was well below freezing.
Jan 26

The low temperature fell to 16° F last night and froze all the water and slushy snow that resulted from the recent warmer weather and rain. This makes it very difficult for the little rodents that live under the snow in the dead vegetation (voles, etc. They have become more visible as they must now forage on the surface. Tom Erdman in Oconto County reports the first invasion of Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) into his outbuildings, immediately after the freezing of the recent rain and meltwater.

Tom Erdman reports Great Horned Owls calling at night, but I haven't heard them in our usual haunts along the East River. They typically begin the nesting season about now and have young by March (when it is often still very cold here).

Jan 24

The high temperature of 39° F is our warmest temperature since December 2 (53 days). In addition to some water from melting snow, we received 0.35 inches of rain since yesterday, resulting in puddles of water on the ice, as here at a stormwater detention pond in Brown County. Much colder air approaches from the north. Snow cover is conspicuously diminished.

Tom Erdman reports skunks out and about in Oconto County, no doubt brought about by the warmer temperatures.

Jan 23 Today our high temperature reached 37° F. This is only the second day that Green Bay has experienced above freezing temperatures since Christmas.
Jan 21 Northern Cardinals have begun calling in our area (Tom Erdman).
Jan 19 A clear early morning with
heavy frost in the Green Bay area. UWGB prairie
Jan 16 In terms of long-term averages for daily high, low and average temperature, today is about the low point of our winter. The shortest day falls on or near Dec 21 each year so on either account, daylength or temperature, things are working back toward warmer seasons.
Jan 14 Green Bay's temperature rose to 35° F today, our first time above freezing since Christmas [except for today's brief period above freezing, the temperature remained below freezing through Jan 22].
Jan 12

It hasn't been excessively cold, but Green Bay has not been above freezing since Christmas (18 days). There is about 9 inches of snow on the ground.

The long term averages indicate that the next 10 days or so are about the coldest of the winter (lows 6 or 7° F, highs 23 or 24), but the forecast is for much warmer than that.

Jan 7 Green Bay received 4.9 inches of new snow. Windy with gusts over 30 mph and considerable drifting of snow.
Jan 2

Green Bay's low temperature was -4° F and the high was 9°, the lowest high temperature of the season. Only a few flakes of new snow, but we still have about 8 inches on the ground. Rhinelander, about 100 miles NW, had a low temperature of -14° and they have 12 inches of snow on the ground.

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