HEY! HEY! HALFWAY! Congratulations! You made it to the halfway point of meteorological winter! While we haven’t had much, save for the last two weeks, it’s still time to check in on where we’re at with those conditions that stress wildlife in the Peace Garden State as part of our Winter Severity Index update. Today’s warm conditions will make you forget the cold for a time!
Featured Photo: Keep Cool. Wildlife will get a short break from winter conditions before we take another brisk plummet next week. Simonson Photo.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Tue 2/1 – Heat Wave! – Hi 40, Lo 12, Wind S@8.
Tomorrow: Tue 2/2 – Good Morning Campers! – Hi 29, Lo 16, Wind S@8
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
6:01AM 2:59PM 10:31AM 10:55PM
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent (9% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 2:30-3:30PM. Moonset will combine with warm conditions in the Edge Hour for a great start to a nice weekend of fishing!
We’re now halfway through winter ’18-19 on the DEO Winter Severity Index Calendar. This tracker provides an idea of what wildlife are up against and serves as a survivability predictor for the season, with one point assigned for each day we touch zero or lower, and one point for each day there’s 10 inches of snow on the ground or more. Our thresholds for winter (Dec. 1 – Mar. 31) severity are as follows: Mild <50 points, Moderate 50-90, Difficult 91-140, Severe 141+ out of a total of 242 possible points for the four-month period.
A strong reminder of what winter is came over the past two weeks, where up to that point we had only accumulated 4 points on our WSI scale for cold. During the Jan. 16-31 stretch, we had 9 days touch zero or lower, including this week, where it dipped to -31 on Wednesday. While snow cover has been consistent, levels have not topped the 10-inch (25 cm) mark, where things get noticeably more challenging for foraging birds and herds of deer. But with less snow, thermal habitat remains open to help them bunker down and deal with the recent cold.
With these adds, our WSI score jumps to 13/124 in Bismarck, which is a mild first half for sure on our scale. We’ll watch next week’s weather event and track the cold into February to see where wildlife end up when spring eventually arrives. Until then…