WHAT’S THAT WSI? We kick off our 2018-19 Winter Severity Index, tracking the conditions that impact the wildlife populations in North Dakota with our first of eight reports! We get into the numbers behind the process, what it means for next year’s hunting, and just how easy the start of this season has been!
Featured Photo: The sun rises over a WMA near Flasher, N.D. Simonson Photo.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Sun 12/16 – Still Above Avg. – Hi 38, Lo 25, Wind NW@9
Tomorrow: Mon 12/17 – Warm Again – Hi 45, Lo 29, Wind SE@9
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
1:49PM 1:09AM 7:56PM 7:34AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (62% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 1:00-2:00PM. Start your afternoon off with moonrise and some movement in the Edge Hour.
2019 WINTER SEVERITY INDEX
One of our favorite things to track at Dakota Edge Outdoors is how weather and other environmental influences affect and impact wildlife. That’s why each year we keep you updated on the two big things that determine huntable wildlife populations – habitat developments and the impact of weather, and a big part of the latter in North Dakota is how hard winter weather hits pheasants, deer and other game people pursue.
At DEO we use a Winter Severity Index (or “WSI” much like the WI DNR, or MN DNR) based out of our headquarters in Bismarck, assigning a point for each day the temperature touches 0 degrees Farenheit, and a point for each day that there’s more than 12 inches of snow on the ground; but it’s easy to customize your own as well based on your location and the info obtainable from NOAA and Weather.com. We run our WSI calendar from Dec. 1 to Mar. 31, and our thresholds for winter severity are as follows: Mild <50 points, Moderate 50-90, Difficult 91-140, Severe 141+. The worst possible winter is 242 points (121 days x 2 points), and hopefully we never see that!
At the middle and end of each month we provide an update, and today is our first of the year. You’ve probably noticed, there hasn’t been much snow or cold to deal with and your hunts have been easy – that means the same for the birds and deer in your area as well! We haven’t had a single digit low, let alone zero, and the most ground cover we’ve had is 3 inches of snow, meaning the first 15 days of the month have a WSI score of ZERO! A good start on a mild winter.
Current Score 0/30 = Mild.
Stay Tuned and Stay Sharp!