Unprecedented temperatures for last week of winter

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

Tuesday's warm weather is giving people in the Chippewa Valley spring fever a bit early this year. A week from today is the official start of spring in the Chippewa Valley. Winter will finish up with a string of record setting 70 degree temperatures. Basically the cherry on top of what was an unusual winter this year.

It was the fifth warmest winter on record in Eau Claire. It was also wetter than normal but that didn't mean snowier than normal. The snowfall deficit for this winter is down to around 17 inches below normal. Plenty of folks got outside today to take advantage of a week that doesn't happen very often in Western Wisconsin.

"I think it's great to have this kind of weather this time of the year," says Rob Ickson who was out for a walk enjoying today's sunny skies. He thinks everybody should take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather.

"i do a lot of bike riding. So I’ll be doing some more tomorrow."

An unusually stubborn and large ridge of high pressure along with a non existent snowpack is behind the record breaking forecast for this week. But for folks who are eager to get into the garden, Jenny Reit with May’s Floral says hold on.

"There's still frost in the ground and if you dig in the dirt right now you're going to cause it to be clogs of dirt, hard, and when it dries it's just like hard and that's very hard to get that all broken up and soft again." She recommends ground temperatures to be at 65 degrees or higher before starting to garden.

"Get lots of outdoor trimming done but as far as planting anything in the ground it’s much to early." Reit says you could put out some pansies or even tomato plants if you wanted to but just make sure if it gets cold again that you bring them back inside. And that "if" is more like a "when"...it is after all only March.


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  • by Weary Location: Menomonie on Mar 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM
    For those who want evidence of climate change (beyond the obvious hint of International Falls having topped its previous record high for yesterday by over 20 degrees) go to the website for the National Academies of Science, and do a search for "climate."
  • by Anonymous Location: ELEVA on Mar 17, 2012 at 05:03 PM
    Nothing abnormal about the weather here. Accept the weather as it comes, good weather and the not as good weather. It all averages itself out in the looong run.
  • by Dieter Location: up nort on Mar 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM
    Notice how when we get frost the first week of September, that fall started September 1st and not the 22nd? How come winter always gets to lay claim to at least the equinox, but fall doesn't? I swear people just want to freeze to death all the time or they are not happy. Hence global warming since it appears these people want another ice age.
  • by Sumner Location: spring on Mar 14, 2012 at 06:11 AM
    Where was all the hue and cry over spring never showing up last year and summer not coming until July? The never ending globull warming coverage seems to have people brain washed. Some how when its nice and warm its something to worry about. When its cold and snowy its ok.
    • reply
      by RonE on Mar 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM in reply to Sumner
      Actually you are making an argument for global warming, extremes one way or the other are the signs of global warming.
      • reply
        by Batman on Mar 14, 2012 at 08:11 PM in reply to RonE
        Show us the proof. Europe had record cold/snow. I guess it's just "global" in the USA.
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