It will be wetter and cooler today than it's been for quite a while in Wisconsin. A low pressure system is spreading two bands of showers-and-thunderstorms throughout the Badger State from now until tomorrow morning. Those 80-degree days will disappear for awhile.
But forecasters say it will still be warmer than normal, with highs in the 60's-and-70's statewide today, and in the 50's-and-60's at least through Monday. Also, a dense fog advisory is in effect until 10 this morning in the Duluth-Superior area.
For the second day in a row, Milwaukee recorded its highest temperature ever for March. It was 84 in Milwaukee yesterday, and 83 in Madison. The National Weather Service said many cities in central and northeast Wisconsin have had seven straight days of record-high temperatures. Green Bay, Wausau, and Rhinelander have all had seven days of 70-plus temperatures this month. That's most for a March on record except in Wausau, which had also seven days of 70-plus readings in 1910.
The unseasonably-warm weather has Midwest farmers thinking about planting their corn. Some have already started, but Jim Rink of the Indiana Farm Bureau says those farmers are taking a risk. That's because federal crop insurance policies don't take effect until a certain date each year. And if a farmer plants before then and something happens like a freeze, the damaged crops are not covered. But Rink says the crops that survive early plantings will be covered if damage occurs later in the year. The earliest planting date for crop insurance is different in each state. Meanwhile, Wisconsin corn farmers are reminded that atrazine, a chemical found in herbicides, is banned in 101 areas in 35 counties. That's generally along the state's mid-section and in southwest Wisconsin. The banned areas are spelled out on the state Agriculture Department's Web site, accessible at Wisconsin.gov.