Snowy, cold winter hangs on, should be much better|
|Blinding snow early today was a reminder that the horrid winter of 2013-2014 just won’t let go.|
With Easter egg hunts scheduled in Antigo, Elcho, Aniwa and elsewhere throughout the area, some commercial snowplows were already tucked away on the logical bet their role was over.
Then a perfect trifecta of snow, cold temperatures and winds swooped in to batter the northwoods. The roads were not good Wednesday and this morning and it got worse the farther north motorists went.
Many of the schools in the areas north of Rhinelander either closed or were running two hours late with buses as the coldest and most snowy winter on record continued its grip.
According to the Weather Channel the average high temperature in Antigo Wednesday and today should have been 53 degrees, but it certainly did not make it.
The high reading Wednesday was 33, a full 20 degrees below that average mark, and it slipped into the upper 20s and lower 30s overnight.
The forecast calls for partly sunny conditions and highs around 40 on Friday, which may begin to fill the sap bags hanging on maple trees throughout the region once again. That season has been dismal to date, with too cold of conditions and deep snow hampering production early, followed by warmth that shut off the taps, and now exceptional cold again. One producer noted that, as of today, the season is a month behind schedule.
A fast turn-around is expected, with rain and highs in the mid-40s for Easter weekend, suggesting that youngsters should wear their tall boots for the egg hunts. Next week, believe it or not, promises sunny conditions with highs tickling 60 degrees on Monday.
But today was all about the snow.
To the far northeast, the die-hard cross-country skiers who manage the Birkie Trail near Hayward reported 15-plus inches of new fallen snow as of this morning.
“The groomers were back out and the skiing will continue,” Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, said. “Let 2015 Birkie training begin.”
“Get out for some awesome spring April skiing,” he added.
Closer to home, the groomers have been put away for the season, but trails are still snow-covered and perfect for bushwhacking or enjoy a snowy hike with a good dog.
According to WJFW-TV meteorologist Melissa Constanzer, based in Rhinelander, morning snow totals ranged from over 15 inches for Boulder Junction, to 12.5 inches in Woodruff, and about 9 inches in Eagle River.
“As of 6:20 a.m. we had 8.1 inches in Rhinelander which breaks the daily snowfall total of 2 inches set back in 2000 and puts us on only 2.4 inches away from being the snowiest winter on record,” Constanzer said.
The heavy, wet snow knocked out power to nearly 4,600 customers in northern Wisconsin early today, Wisconsin Public Service Corp. said.
As of 8:30 a.m., the utility reported 100 different outages, including about 1,000 customers in Tomahawk, 600 in both Eagle River and Hazelhurst and 500 in Rhinelander.
WPS spokeswoman Kelly Zagrzebski said 20 crews from Green Bay, Wausau, Marinette and Antigo were sent to the region to help restore the power.
“If weather cooperates, we hope to have everyone's power restored later today,” she said in a statement.
Langlade County Highway Commissioner Tim Rusch estiated that at noontime today, about seven inches of heavy, wet snow had fallen across the area, with the heavier totals farther north.
Langlade Hospital's sign read April 17, but the weather resembled early March in Antigo today.
Material on this web site has a
copyright by Antigo Daily Journal.
All rights reserved.