January thaw comes very late this year|
|Northern Wisconsin, and certainly Antigo and Langlade County, got a startling reminder Monday how nice some winter days can be.|
For the first time in months temperature readings went above 50, snow that had been packed on walkways, driveways and roads started melting, and in some cases, roofs began leaking.
Weather sources said the high in the Antigo area was 51 Monday and just up the road in Laona, the reading reached 55 degrees. Rhinelander posted a 53 and Wausau had 48 degrees.
There were people out and about with lighter jackets and here and there, even a pair of shorts or two appeared.
The demand for better conditions has been tremendous with at least 56 winter days under the zero mark, a sign of exceptionally frigid conditions, and readings went into the minus 30 range several times during the past month, with wind chills even worse.
But perhaps that trend has broken, and with the arrival of spring only days away, the sudden warmth could spark problems after the heavy cover.
Brad Henricks, director of the Office of Emergency Management for the county, is already making contingency plans for floods, if the snow melts too rapidly and sends the Spring Brook overflowing through Antigo.
Henricks is compiling a list of residents around and in the flood plain who may need help during an evacuation due to physical disabilities and special transportation needs.
Those with concerns should contact his office located at the Langlade County Resource Center, or call him at 715 627-6257.
Spring-lovers will get a slap back into reality by Wednesday, when highs are expected to reach only the mid-teens, and lows may dive below the zero degree mark.
The extended forecast calls for see-sawing conditions Thursday and into the weekend, with warming next week.
The thaw has softened cross-country ski and snowmobile trails, but plenty of snow remains on the ground. The colder weather might make for icy conditions so caution is encouraged.
Brian Welch, who operates a construction company near Pelican Lake, took advantage of the pleasant weather on Monday to get to work re-roofing a home in Elcho.
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