Climatologically speaking, we are now entering into what is typically the coldest time of the year in North Central Wisconsin. The average high for Wausau has bottomed out at 22, while overnight lows on average are in the lower single digits. However as you probably know, the temperatures around here are seldom right at those levels. After an eventful December with the biggest snowfall in Wausau ever for that month on a day and second largest amount of snow ever in a calendar day, the first week of January has featured the invasion of cold air out of Canada. Along with this, reinforcing shots coming in the form of clipper type systems dropping down from the northwest have provided a "freshing" of the snowpack, while enhancing lake effect snowfall in the snowbelts close to Lake Superior. Is there any change in the cards for the next several days? Well, here is how the jet stream (that river of air about 30,000-40,00 feet above the ground) is expected to be situated as we roll toward the middle of January.
The take aways from this fairly large trough being depicted across the country is that for one, the cold air isn't going anywhere. Highs will mostly be in the teens in the days ahead locally and there will be additional instances of fronts restocking the cold air with chances of flurries or snow showers. At the same time, this keeps the threat for heavy snowfall or big storms in general tracking to our south, or not really hitting their stride until they make it to the east coast. In addition, if you are a snow bird, or just not a fan of the winter chill, you'll have to take up residence either in the southern portions of the Gulf coast states or southern parts of California, Arizona, or New Mexico. Even there, the locals will probably give you the impression that it's a bit chilly. One aspect that the winter outdoor enthusiasts are probably a bit dismayed about is that not every snowmobile trail is open. That's thanks to the considerable melting in parts of the region that took place prior to the start of the New Year. Safe to say when we do get any snowfall, whatever hits the ground isn't going any place. Will it be enough to get every trail back up and running? That's going to be a wait and see story. Needless to say, if you just can't stand not being out on the trails, there is plenty of snow on the ground once you get north of Wausau. As for the ice fishers out there, the cold air will help thicken the depth of the ice. Still, I would warn again driving the automobile out on the lakes as there still may be some spots where the ice isn't quite as sturdy.
Stay warm everyone!
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