Wisconsin Weather

Early Snow Unleashes Wisconsin Color Rush

No, this isn't Thursday Night Football.

Mother nature unleashed her own "color rush" following an early winter snowfall across Wisconsin this morning. We haven't seen accumulating snow this early in this part of the state for a long time. The early snow coincided with the peak fall leaf color producing a large, beautiful variation in colors. A truly special moment.

My day started early thanks to my son who woke me up just after 3AM. "Wow" I thought peaking out the window, there has to be at least 2-3" inches out there. I was shocked to see 4" sticking the ruler into the snow atop the patio table. There was little to no accumulation on the pavement. It's a tricky situation of what to report? The 4" that fell only elevated surfaces and grass or the 0" on the pavement? Both are correct.

After getting the other kid ready for the day; I jumped in the car to document the snow at sunrise. My goal was to capture the gold, yellow, red, and green leaves in the white snow at first daylight. With time on my side I decided to drive around and see whats out there with the final goal to come back to my neighborhood. I wanted to limit my focus to a couple goals instead of trying documenting everything like in the past. It was all beautiful as the darkness began to brighten, but I was amazed by how beautiful the country areas looked. Not all the corn and crops and fields had been flattened yet. The snow stuck to everything. It floated on leaf rafts in a sea of pavement.

Snow floating on leaf life rafts in a sea of Pavement. Never seen this before!
Snow floating on leaf life rafts in a sea of Pavement. Never seen this before!

By 7:00AM I stopped driving as to not get to far away. Sent out a few updates on Facebook. Started working around the immediate area. The first opportunity came in the form of a snowplow approaching from the west. I got in position; still a little dark so would have to use a longer shutter on the DSLR. Just before reaching me the plow lifted the blade as if to avoid spraying me. I was hiding behind the car for a reason lol. On the next pass from the east I signaled for the plow to keep going. They did and I got the shot.

I love getting blasted by snowplows. Will need to make sure black betty is sealed up tight before I put her in front of one of these!
I love getting blasted by snowplows. Will need to make sure black betty is sealed up tight before I put her in front of one of these!

I made a stop further east on the edge of a farm field. Wanted to at least try. My 18-55mm lens can only do so much, and I switched to the wide angle for a couple things but really need a longer lens for distance.

Farm field outside of Oshkosh
Farm field outside of Oshkosh

I felt drawn into a nearby neighborhood and went in there for my next session. The golden yellow leaves were exactly what I was looking for.

Finally making it back to my neighborhood, the sun came out and brightly illuminated the area. It was like a scene from "The Lorax" lol.

CONCLUSION - Yes this Wisconsin. Yes it will snow a lot. I've lived here my entire life. But sometimes you have take time to appreciate rare events when the colors are so vibrant! I feel I accomplished my goal. I can wait to set new goals on future snow storm chasing coming up this winter which includes getting down and dirty with snowplows. I'm trying to remaster/rekindle some of my 2012-2015 videography work. We'll see how that goes!

Don't look now, but more snow is likely across southern Wisconsin on Thursday (Halloween), that forecast I'm working on next. I hope to see many little bumbles out there trick or treating!

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