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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