Weather is popular topic in Wisconsin

Jerry Apps
2019 snow at Roshara in Waushara County.

It is often said that If Wisconsin people didn’t have the weather to talk about they wouldn’t have much to say. There is more than a little truth to the statement.

This winter is a good case in point. In Southern Wisconsin, we had more winter in October than we had in December. At Christmas time, golfers on Madison area golf courses were chasing those little white balls on bare ground with temperatures in the 50s.

Ice fishermen had to wait until January 12 for Lake Mendota to freeze. This usually happens in December. Snowmobilers and cross-country skiers had to travel north to find enough snow for their winter fun.

At my farm in central Wisconsin, so far this winter I’ve not had to crank up my tractor once to plow snow. Four or five inches of snow has been about it—and even this snow shrunk with days of above freezing temperatures.

Last winter was different. Snow was piled up everywhere. I put my tractor with front-end loader to good use, making a path just wide enough for my car to pass in my long driveway.

A couple weeks ago, the Madison weather people announced a weather warning. A big snowstorm on the way. Up to a foot or more of snow. People flocked to the grocery stores and gas stations in preparation. Guess what, less than an inch of snow in much of southern Wisconsin, nothing in central Wisconsin.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: In Wisconsin, weather—the good, the bad, and the ugly—gives us something to talk about.

Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps, born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than 35 books, many of them on rural history and country life. For further information about Jerry's writing and TV work go to