Saturday, March 1, 2014


If there was a run on bread and milk prompted by the storm, the
stampede had ended by late afternoon.  Not many cars
were out on the roads at this point.   Snow let up by
early evening, and Town crews cleaned up
roads by daybreak.  

Erik Foss, at the aft controls, maneuvers the AJR to the shore ramp.  
Washington Island, Wisconsin -

Winter is still here, in case we were thinking spring was around the corner.  A wave of cold air blanketed the Upper Midwest for over one week straight.  Then, yesterday's snowfall came along, far more intense than the several inches that were predicted for our area.

By my unofficial, boot-top measurements I'd say we got twelve inches of light, fluffy snow in about 9 hours.   Outside air temperatures were in the lower teens.   The lake seemed to add moisture to Door County's precipitation, although the television weather radar didn't pick it up.   Large flakes fell from noon to around 9 p.m. Friday, one of the more intense snowfalls of recent years.  Wind gusts sprang up in late afternoon sweeping new, light snow into obliterating clouds of white.

Anticipating the arrival of the afternoon ferry at the island dock, I waited in calm conditions with two cameras tucked inside by my jacket.  During this 45 minutes time, while I waited and photographed, nearly an inch of snow covered my cap and shoulders.

Here are a few more photos taken yesterday afternoon.

Lars Goodlet drove from his home near Washington Harbor
to the Island Post Office
to pick up his mail prior to the 4 p.m. closing.
Thursday, winter records were set for the number of days with recorded below zero temperatures for several northern Wisconsin communities.   But, cold temperatures aside, Thursday had proven to be bright and beautiful.  N-NW wind carried out much of the ice from the passage, leaving open water stretching a good mile west into the Bay.   It also cleared channel ice from inside the entrance light.  The  20-inch ice I had walked on Thursday to get this photo (below) floated out over night.

Thursday the sky was blue, the temperature near zero.  I stood on
approximately 20 inches of clear ice.  This ice comes and goes,
as the ferry's wake will break it up and northerly winds
take it from the harbor, from time to time.
Recent high winds, according to satellite imagery and Great Lakes reports, set up wave action that broke up much of Lake Michigan's open lake ice cover.  The bay of Green Bay, however, remains solidly frozen in place.  Break up of this ice, now estimated to be over two feet in thickness (with added snow ice on top) may cause havoc with ferry crossings when it loosens and streams out the Door passage.  But, that activity, over a period of time, now seems to be weeks away.

We're expecting another four to five days of low-digit cold before temperatures once again approach high 20s and low 30s, which is closer to normal temperature for this time of year.               -  Dick Purinton

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