(WAOW)—At least seven new record
high temperatures were recorded across Northcentral Wisconsin today, according to statistics
released by the National Weather Service.
As of 3:00 pm Wednesday the cities of Marshfield
and Wausau reached
daytime highs of 75 degrees.
The temperature readings beat Marshfield's old record of 65 degrees observed
in both 1990 and 1995. Wausau's record-setting day broke the community's
previous record of 67 degrees from 1995.
The city's average high on March 14th is 38 degrees.
hit 77 degrees, topping the old record by five degrees. The city's previous 72 degree high had stood
The unusually warm temperatures have been felt across much
of the country. According to the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this winter was the fourth
warmest on record in the United States
and the third warmest in Wausau,
Snow cover is gone in most areas in Central
Wisconsin, with only a few inches remaining in portions of the
Northwoods. Without snow on the ground,
less energy from the sun is reflected back into space. That allows for more energy to warm the
surface and air temperatures.
In addition, the Arctic and
North Atlantic Oscillation patterns have both been in positive phases for most
of the winter.
A positive phase of Arctic Oscillation tends to keep cold
air bottled up toward the North Pole behind the polar jet stream. A negative phase allows colder air to spill
southward toward the United
States, allowing winter-like temperatures to
A positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation pattern
tends to keep the jet stream that steers storm systems over North
America fairly flat. That
acts as an additional barrier for cold air to overcome from the north. A negative phase allows for large ridges and
troughs to develop permitting cold air to move more freely.
The patterns have been in positive phase for most of the
winter. They can change, and doing so
greatly could trigger a return to more normal seasonal conditions later in