19 January 2012

Winter in Wisconsin

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living 7 years in Wisconsin (9 in the Midwest), it’s that here, more than any place else I’ve lived, the weather is always unpredictable, often extreme, and very fleeting. Temperature swings of 60+ degrees over the course of 4 days are par for the course here, as are floods, snow storms, tornados, frigid temperatures, and blistering, baking heat. I've seen them all here, with photos to prove it! The hottest temperature to date (per what I've seen on the bank thermometer) has been 101F, and the coldest (air temp), -30F. I don't really want to think about what the wind chill was that day.

Up until the last couple of weeks, we've actually had quite a mild winter. Some days in December saw 50 degree beautiful, sunny days. The trouble is, when we don’t get snow in December, there’s nothing to keep the ground warm in January when the inevitable arctic air descends upon us.

Like today, when the temperatures crawled up to -12F by 8:30am, with barely a dusting of snow on the ground.

Unlike most years, when the snow just keeps coming (December 2010).

Sometimes, the temperatures swing upwards just long enough to give us some fabulous looking icicles...

...before dipping back down to frigid temperatures (January 2009).

One thing is for certain: regardless of the snow storm, the snow will drift at least 4-5ft in front of my front door, making shovelling a royal pain. This drift was over my head before I went to bed. I'm not sure how high it got because, by the time I got up in the morning, my friendly neighbors had already dug me out with their snow blowers (February 2007).

I suppose I've (mostly) gotten used to the intricacies of our crazy weather. The only thing that really bothers me, year after year, is being cold and still seeing grass. In my mind, if I'm going to be cold, I shouldn't be able to see my grass. Most years, Wisconsin is quite accommodating on the snow front, but we're seriously lacking this year. So, anybody want to send over some snow, I'm ready for it!

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