What A Strange Winter

I enjoy winter, it's one of the major reasons I wanted to move to Wisconsin. But this winter has been simply disappointing. One thing I love is ice skating and playing hockey. Last winter, I got all I could take at local rinks like Putnam and Pinehurst, but not this year. I took this picture in early February.

It’s an Eau Claire City crew trying to lay down a new layer of ice at Pinehurst. It has been a difficult battle and there are some parts of the rink where you can see grass (tough to skate on the grass).

Your opinion of this mild winter, I think we can all agree it is far from normal. A look back at January, not just here in Wisconsin, but all across the country shows that. Below you see a map of just how warm January 2012 has been when compared to the last 118 years of records. In Wisconsin we ranked 108 out of 118, meaning only 10 of the last 118 years had brought warmer temperatures over the entire month.

Here in Eau Claire we ended the month with an average temperature of 20.5 degrees F. That is 6.1 degrees F above the average monthly temperature of 14.4. Compare that to January 2011, that month brought an average temperature of 10.2, that 4.2 below normal. January 2012 = 7.8” of snow, January 2011 = 14.5”.

As the map shows, it isn’t just here in Wisconsin that felt the mild weather, it was all across the country. Only 2 of the lower 48 states had near normal temps for the month. Amazingly, the rest were at least above normal, and 15 of the 48 states (Wisconsin included) were 'much above normal', meaning the average monthly temp put it in the top 10 percent of warmest Januaries.

The average contiguous U.S Temp was 36.3 degrees F, 5.5 degrees F above the 1901-2000 long-term average. That making it the fourth warmest January on record, and the warmest since 2006. Precipitation, averaged across the nation, was 1.85", this was 0.37" below the long-term average.

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