The chart (to the right) contains data from the University of Wisconsin Experimental Farm located about 10 miles from me. This chart snows the average monthly snowfall data from that location. With Lake Superior so close by, 10 miles can be a big deal, as can the elevation change, so comparing my data to theirs is to be taken with a grain or two of salt. Average winter snowfall is 51.3" at this station, probably less than my location.
Add it all up.
So far this winter I have measured 54.195" of snow. My chart (to the left) shows a running total of accumulation. It shows three snowy periods:
1) the first week of December 2) the last week of December 3) the second week of January
It also shows a marked period of very little snow from December 6th to the 22nd. Snow cover on any given day.
This chart (to the right) shows the amount of snow on the ground as I stuck the measuring stick in the ground every few days. So, while I have had a total (so far) of over 54 inches, it doesn't all stay on the ground throughout the winter.
The three main mechanisms that reduce snow cover are compaction
December was a snowy month across northern Wisconsin. January was less, but still a little above normal. After the drought this past summer, extra snowfall will be welcome across the region. With some luck we'll have a healthy snowpack to melt this Spring to contribute to soil moisture and the watertable. We'll have to wait and see how the Winter ends.
January's liquid precipitation tally.
Despite having a little more snow than average, January ended with below-average precipitation. This simply means the snow that did fall did not hold as much water as it could have, it was light and dry snow overall.
Also of note, we had pure rain on January 29th during a storm system that brought warm air up from the south. That rain created a layer of pure ice on the driveway; it was an unusual event, but about right for a La Nina winter.
The picture (below) is of my three friends as we were walking across Chequamegon Bay to the marina in Washburn on January 26th.
Current Frost Depth.
The latest report from central Ashland County, from January 31st, has a frost depth of 42 inches deep under pavement and 3 inches under the snow. Far northern Bayfield County reported a frost depth of 52 inches under pavement and 5 inches under the snow on January 29th. I'm surprised how shallow the frost depth is under the snow... but we have had a mild winter so far and we are lucky that the cold periods coincided with adequate snow cover for insulation.