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.

February 2014
frost and ice

Feb 28

This winter in Green Bay (Dec, Jan and Feb combined) is the second coldest on record.

Green Bay's low temperature of -21° F is a record low for the date and also breaks the record for most days below zero in a winter at 49! It also ties the coldest temperature of this winter. Green Bay's monthly average will be about 12 degrees below "normal" for the month of February 2014. Only 4 days rose above freezing this month and only 11 days (of 85) rose above freezing since December 6. Snow depth at month's end is 17 inches. If that sounds bad, imagine the 38 inches of snow on the ground at Lac Vieux Desert in Vilas County, about 125 miles NNW.

Antigo, about 70 miles NW had a morning low temperature of -30° F, also a record low for the date and several other locations also recorded low records.

Feb 27 Green Bay's morning low temperature of -3° F ties the record for most days of below zero temperatures at 48. The forecast calls for another 4 or 5 days below zero so we should safely set the new standard.
Feb 24
seeds on snow

There are numerous seeds/fruits on the snow this morning, including Box elder (Acer negundo), white birch (Betula papyrifera), basswood (Tilia americana), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). All these seeds are wind-dispersed and with the icy crust on the snow, they can be blown far from their origin in this season, even after they hit the ground.

Low temperature is +4° F again this morning. Snow depth is down to 14 inches in Green Bay now, but it is exremely hard and icy in many places and paths can be very slippery.

Feb 23 After 4 days of somewhat warmer temperatures our morning low temperature of 4° F and windchills of ± -10° begins another long (predicted at least) period of cold, including below zero temperatures by mid-week.
Feb 19

Today's (brief) high temperture of 40° F is the warmest temperature since November 21 (90 days).

Feb 18
  Today's high temperature of 34° F was the first time Green Bay has been above freezing since January 13, a period of 36 days. The time above freezing was only about 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon and the temperature dropped rapidly into the 20's after 5 p.m. There was dense fog in the evening in Green Bay and for much of the distance between Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay in Door County.
Mahon Creek Green Bay received a total 9.5 inches of snow on the 3 previous days. Standing snowcover is 22 inches, our highest of the winter. Mahon Creek on UW-Green Bay, at left, has less ice-cover now, but anything above the water surface is covered in the new snow.
highbush cranberry New snow on fruits of highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum). These are said to be good wildlife food, but they smell and taste disgusting in the Fall and they don't usually disappear from the shrubs until the following spring.
BairdCreekRoad The incidence of frozen water pipes continues to rise and more communities are asking residents to keep water flowing to try to avoid more problems. There are reports of the frost extending down at least 6 feet, especially under roads and other areas not insulated by snow. Even if the weather returns to more seasonable temperatures, the danger of frozen pipes is expected to continue well into April.
Feb 17 A storm system is moving into our area from the plains, bringing wet snow we are told. [it turned out not to be so wet, but we received 5.3 inches of snow] A front passed through ahead of the snow this morning as the air temperature warmed 13° F between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Today's high temperature was 25° F, the highest of the month so far. The forecast is for warmer air after the storm, and high temperatures are predicted to rise a little above freezing for the next couple of days, a feat we have not managed since January 13.
Feb 13 There was only a little snow in Wisconsin yesterday and today, but a very large storm has swept from Texas east through the southeastern U.S.A. and then north up the Atlantic coast where it is predicted to drop a foot or more of snow. In the south the outcome was a massive ice storm that rendered roads undriveable and brought down power lines leaving at least 500,000 people without electricity.
Feb 12

Green Bay's low temperature of +4° F is not especially warm, but it is better than the below zero temperatures of 10 of the first 11 days of February. Daily temperatures have been about 15 to 20° below "normal" so far this month. The local media is reporting that this winter is now entering the ranks of the coldest winters on record for Green Bay in about 125 years. It ranks 6 or 7 depending on the criteria used, and with one more day below zero will be tied for 4th in the category of most days falling below zero. We haven't been above freezing for over 4 weeks.

Still more communities in northeastern Wisconsin are urging residents to keep a continuous low flow of water in at least one faucet. The flowing water diminishes the probability of the pipes freezing.

Feb 11

Low temperature of -17° F in Green Bay and wind chill as low as -30°. The high tempreature was +9°. You have to admire a community in which people say "...it may warm into the low 20's in the next few days", as a positive statement. Outdoor sports may have been down a little, but there are many people ice-fishing, skiing , sledding, etc., and people go on with their daily activities unabated.

The bark photo from yesterday was of an American elm (Ulmus americana). It is very unusual bark for that species and probably more closely resembles the bark of a mid- or large-sized hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). I might easily have misidentified the tree based on the bark, but the leaves, buds and young bark are all typical for Ulmus americana. After several years of developing this bark, the tree now appears in poor health and may be diseased.

Feb 10
ice

Cold weather continues with an overnight low temperature of -8° F in Green Bay and wind chill as low as -26. The water at left is Mahon Creek on UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum. You can see thicker and frost-covered ice at the right side and the remainder of the water is just recently iced-over. If you were there in person you could see the water flowing beneath. You'd need warm mittens though, it was still about -1° F when the photo was taken.

Nine of the first ten days of February [eventually 10 of 11] have had low temperatures below zero and the highest temperature for the entire time has been 19° F. More communities in the area are asking residents to leave the water flowing lightly in one location, to keep pipes from freezing as the long cold period persists. The forecast for today is a high of +6° and for tonight about -12° [actually was -17].

cottontail This photo is of the remains of a cottontail rabbit (a hare really). It's tempting to feel bad for the rabbit, but it was essential for some other animal to survive.
bark Can you guess what kind of tree this bark is on? If you can you are very good indeed, because it is not the usual appearance for this species. Answer tomorrow.
Feb 8

Just a dusting of snow today in Green Bay, 0.1 inch and only a total of 0.4 inches so far this month.

Feb 3
Arboretum Path A bright sunny morning on UW-Green Bay's Cofrin Arboretum. Many tracks from snowshoers, skiers and hikers over the past weekend.
turkey More turkeys in the trees this morning, about 9:00 a.m. at -5° F (low was -17°).
Feb 1
February starts out cold with a morning low temperature of -11° F and about 15 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 April 17, 2014