You Know It's Winter When...

Last Friday (February 12th) was a rare moment in the U.S. when 49 out of the 50 states reported having some measurable snow on the ground.  Yes, that included such warm weather states as Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.  The lone hold out was none other than Hawaii.  This weather oddity was thanks in large part to the barrage of wintry weather that has impacted the southern and eastern U.S. over the past couple of weeks.  A southern snow producer late last week dumped over a foot of snow in Dallas, 5.3" in Shreveport, La, and about an inch in the panhandle of the Sunshine State of Florida.  Even on Presidents Day Monday, still 48 states reported having at least a bit of snow on the ground.  Check out this interactive snow depth map from February 12th.

Around here, snow comes with the territory during the winter months, and we certainly can handle a few inches of snow without too many problems.  Of course, unlike our fair weather  friends in the southern states who may rarely see snow, the other aspects around North Central Wisconsin, include brutal cold and those wicked winds that make wind chills dip into the -20 to -40 range.  So far this winter, the arctic outbreaks have been limited to a handful of days in December and January.  This isn't surprising considering the southern jet stream has been the main storm producer, however chilly air has held its own across much of the country over the past month or so.

No less, you also know it's winter when.... the snow shovel is stationed by the front door at all times; you can't step outside without throwing on the coat, hat, gloves and scarf; you've got to warm up the car so that the frost on the inside of the windows can melt; taking the dog out for a walk becomes a quick sprint around the block;  seeing a fresh inch of snow on the ground doesn't phase you; friends and family in other parts of the country are boasting about the latest foot or two of snow that's fallen; and one of my favorites is when you long for the start of the baseball season.  Indeed, you can fill in the blank with your own experiences, but I am happy to report Spring Training is now underway in Florida and Arizona, so spring isn't too far away.

In the meantime, our weather pattern for this week is expected to be fairly quiet with daytime highs in the 20s to near 30 degrees, while any snow should be limited.  No exactly a sign of spring yet, but certainly a nice interlude before the onslaught of wintry weather returns down the road.

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