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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.

December 2013 Mouse-over the photo for the identity of the subject
white spruce with snow

Dec 31
redtailed Hawk

The photo at left is of a Red-tailed Hawk at a suet feeder. This is normally a bird that hunts for a living, but perhaps the very cold weather convinced this one to go for the easily accessible and high calorie suet. Photo by Tom Erdman (Dec. 28) who says there were many birds in the area that are normally prey species for Red-tailed Hawks, but they were completely ignored here in favor of the suet. We can expect to see unusual behavior when conditions are extreme.

Check out the Red-tailed Hawk eating a cottontail on the sidewalk immediately next to a classroom building at UWGB on January 2, 2001, from our phenology archives. You can search the phenology archives at upper left.

Dec 30

A cold morning as Green Bay reports -19° F at about 7:00 a.m., our coldest temperature so far this winter and a record low for this date. The daily high temperature was 0° F, the lowest high temperature of the winter, making this clearly the coldest day to date.

A temperature of -26° F reported at Rhinelander about 100 miles NW.

The photos is of Mahon Creek in UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum, on this very cold morning. It was about -10° when the photo below was taken. The creek is frozen here, the ice thin and clear and probably only formed overnight. Baird Creek is also mostly frozen now.

Dec 29 Low temperature of -5° F.
Dec 28 High temperature of 38° seems almost spring-like, but tonights low is predicted to fall below zero again as cold arctic air descends from Canada. The above-freezing period lasted for about 6-7 hours.
Dec 27 Green Bay's high temperature of 33° F is the first time above freezing since Dec. 5, albeit only for an hour or so.
Dec 26 Standing snow depth was 15 inches.
Dec 25 Green Bay received 3.2 inches of snow today for a total of 26.2 inches this month.
Dec 24
  Green Bay's low temperature was -14° F, the lowest of the season. The high temperature was only +9°.
Lake Michigan ice Green Bay is almost completely frozen over. Photo from NOAA Coastwatch program's MODIS photos. Compare to photo of Dec 11.
Dec 23
deer Two deer on the Cofrin Arboretum at UW-Green Bay this morning. this is already becoming a difficult winter for them with unseasonably early cold and deeper snow. Today's standing snow depth is 12".
northern pin oak Northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) with many dead leaves still attached, as is commonly the case.
Dec 22 Green Bay received 6 inches of snow, a new record for this date (the old record was 4.7 inches in 1942). Areas along the Lake Michigan shore and farther south had even more snow.
Dec 21

Green Bay has not been above freezing since Dec 5 (16 days).

There are still more Robins around than I would expect considering the early and strong winter to date. There are always a few hanging around where there are dependable bird feeders, but I'm seeing them even out in the woods locally, 8-10 together.

Dec 18
Fox River Mouth The mouth of the Fox River at Green Bay is totally ice-covered now except for the path created by the Coast Guard ice-breaker, a small area of discharge from the Pulliam power plant and the discharge from Green Bay Metro sewerage facility (near side of river, not visible behind the retaining wall).
Cormorant Bald Eagle Bald Eagle
Among the many Mallards and Canada Geese, there were a few Common Mergansers and a single Double-crested Cormorant at the Fox River Mouth this morning. Also 5 immature Bald Eagles on the ice.
Dec 17
snow in UWGB Prairie Green Bay's temperature was about 11° F at sunset yesterday and rose slowly throughout the night to 14° by sunrise and 24° by 10:00 a.m. The high temperature reached 32° F, but just barely and for less than an hour in the afternoon. Light snow began to fall about 5:00 a.m. and continues to mid-day. Photo in the prairie at UWGB.
UWGB Mahon Creek New snow on Mahon Creek in UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum.
Dec 16 Green Bay's morning low temperature was -13° F, our lowest of the winter to date. Our highest temperature in about the last 10 days was 22° F.
Dec 15 Low temperature of -5° F in Green Bay.
Dec 14 Snow beginning yesterday and ending about 2:00 p.m. today totaled 3.2 inches for the 2 days.
Dec 13
common merganser The recent period of unusually cold weather has dramatically increased the ice-cover on Green Bay (see Dec. 11) and the Fox River. This reduces the area of open water and tends to increase the density of the wintering waterfowl where the water remains open. The photo at left is a Common Merganser, seen among many others this morning.
Dec 12
Baird Creek

Low temperature of -3° F in Green Bay, and about 80 miles NNW in Laona, the low was -12 F.

Baird Creek is completely ice-covered, as near as I can tell without walking the entire length. This photo is of the well-known "falls" just west of Baird Creek Road, and it is usually among the last locations to become ice-covered.

Dec 11
Green Bay ice-cover The Bay was mostly ice-free except for very near shore on Dec 5, but by Dec. 11 the lower bay was ice-covered from the mouth of the Fox River north to a line from about Pensaukee to Little Sturgeon Bay, with floating ice north to Peshtigo Harbor. If you look closely at the lower left in the photo, you can also see that the Fox River is ice-covered south to the DePere dam (except for right at the river's mouth).

Green Bay's low temperature was -6° F. The high temperature was 9° F, and it occurred before sunrise, with temperatures falling thereafter until about 9:00 a.m. and rising only to 5° in the afternoon. Wind chills -15 to -20 most of the day.

Green Bay has been below freezing continuously for about 6 days and really the highest temperature in that period was 17°. The daily temperatures have been between 15°to 19° below the "normals" (21 degrees lower today). The forecast is to remain well below freezing for the next 10 days (keeping in mind the low success of 10-day forecasts).

Dec 10
Green Bay's low temperature of -5° F is yet again a new low for the season [looks like 13° will be today's high]. Over the last several days a large winter storm swept across the U.S.A. with snow, dangerous roads and thousands of cancelled flights, followed by the movement of cold arctic air across the northern regions. The northeast is getting mostly rain today as the storm moves out toward the Atlantic, and it's cold, clear and windy in Wisconsin with wind chills below zero in double digits.  
Dec 9
Green Bay Shore A cold weekend, and snow Sunday afternoon and night, brought a very winter-like look to the landscape--seen here from UW-Green Bay's shoreline looking about northwest. Today's low temperature is now the lowest of the season at -3° F. An additional 1.0 inch of snow today brought the two day storm total to 3.2 inches.
Dec 8 Green Bay received 2.2 inches of snow.
Dec 7
Green Bay's low temperature of -1° F is the lowest of the season to date, and about 17 degrees below the "normal" low for today. Last year's low on this date was +32° F. Just for the record, "normal" as used in the local reports refers to the average low over a recent 30 year interval. The daily high temperature was 11°, which is also the lowest daily high temperature of the season.  
Dec 5
UWGB and Green Bay The snow of Dec. 3 is mostly gone after yesterday's warm temperatures (high of 45° F). The temperature is down to about 20° F today with winds in mid to upper twenties and gusts to 37 mph.
Dec 4
Wisconsin DNR has released preliminary figures for the recent gun deer season. The number of deer registered is 226,582, which is about 7% below last year's report. The density of deer is apparently highly variable from one area to another within the state.  
Dec 3
snow Light snow began about 2:00 a.m., and continued lightly throughout the morning in Green Bay. [the daily total was 3.9 inches, gf]
Dec 2
UW-Green Bay prairie December begins with little snow, and ice-covered ponds, but warmer than average temperatures (upper thirties for highs).

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Last updated on May 20, 2015