It's almost time to go back to the the future. Well, we're not exactly jumping into a time machine per say, but the return to Standard Time officially takes place on Sunday, November 7th. The good news is that the sun won't be coming up close to 8am for the remainder of the year. The bad news is that if you are hoping to see any daylight after 4:30pm, it's time to hitch up the car and head to warmer climates. Since the summer solstice way back in June, we have been losing anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes of daylight per day. You might not notice it from one day to the next but if you compare from one week to the next, it certainly adds up, let alone from the start to end of any of the last few months. No less, the one plus with this time shifting taking place on Sunday morning is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. One other reminder that I always like to pass along this time of the year is that while you're switching the clocks, it is always a great time to check the batteries in the smoke & carbon monoxide detector. Always better safe than sorry to be sure those are functioning properly.
Meantime, November is the month that starts off somewhat subtle weatherwise, with mild days and chilly nights, but tends to go downhill once we are past the midpoint of the month. Based on the last few Novembers, the first 15 days of the month have featured highs in the 50s, 60s and even 70s, intermixed with perhaps a day or two where there was a little bit of snow, while the final half has included highs that didn't get out of the 10s or 20s with bouts of enough snow that the shovel became necessary. Granted there have been a few exceptions to this story, take for example the nearly 6" of snow falling on November 10, 2006 and highs surging briefly back into the 50s in November '05, '06, and '09. No less, with the colorful hues of the leaves from October long gone (but still perhaps laying on your lawn) this month is the final transitional one before winter settles in. As I've mentioned before here on the blog, take advantage of the nice, mild days while you can because once we open the proverbial door to the chill that's bottled up in Canada, it's hard to go back until usually April or May rolls around. With this upcoming winter season being during a La Nina phase in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, the odds are favorable for near to somewhat above average season of snowfall this winter, along with more cold snaps than we endured last year. Great news for the snow lovers and those that like keeping the mercury below the freezing mark for many days in a row. Not so nice perhaps for taking the dog for a walk or those sensitive to sub zero wind chills.
I suppose if nothing else, residing in the northern tier of the country gives you incentive to look forward to whatever season is around the corner. I'm sure many folks are delighted to see the first snowfall (so long as it doesn't fall on a major travel day during the holidays) of the winter, the blossoming of the flowers and trees in spring, the long hours of daylight and pleasant warmth of summer, and of course those great fall colors. However as we all know, winter typically takes the prize for the one season that lasts the longest in Wisconsin. So heat up some hot cocoa, get out all of the winter coats, and get the snow shovel ready to be put in place, because winter will be knocking on the door soon.
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