Janesville17.9°

This month one for record books

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Ann Fiore
December 27, 2007
— The avalanche of snow dumped this December could land us in second place in the books, but we’d need about 15 more inches to break any records.

Second-place standing, though, is probably a safe bet, considering that anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of snow is predicted Friday for the Janesville area.


The Gazette has kept snowfall information since 1948, and the snowiest December on record was in 2000 with 35.2 inches.


The city received 20.6 inches in 1987, and the total so far this December is recorded at 20.5.


This area reported about a half-inch of snow late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, with the heaviest snow at around 1 to 2 a.m., said meteorologist Tom Kines from Accuweather weather service. Temperatures were at or above freezing while it snowed.


Temperatures today should be in the mid 30s and 20s tonight, which is above average.


Snow is expected to fall on most of the state on Friday.


Kines said the drive to work Friday morning should be no problem but that snow will be falling by lunch.


The storm coming tomorrow is quick moving, though.


“By the time the evening hours roll around, snow is tapering and moving away,” Kind said. “I suspect the evening hours are precipitation free.”


Kind predicts temperatures close to what they should be on Saturday in the upper 20s, with Sunday possibly a bit milder and above freezing.


Early next week could get quite cold, but the second half of the week will turn very mild, possibly with temps in the 40s, Kines said.


December’s snowstorms also have unleashed an avalanche of bills for the city of Janesville’s snow-plowing department.


Thanks to back-to-back storms, the city is about $694,000 over its 2007 snow removal budget of $808,314, the city council learned Wednesday.


And that doesn’t include snow forecast for this weekend.


Predicting how much money will be needed for snow removal each year is a tough task. Staff often uses monthly snowfall averages from past years to determine the amount, and an unusually snowy month or two can throw off that estimate.


The overage will require that the council approve transferring money from the city’s $5.3 million undesignated fund balance, said Herb Stinski, director of administrative services.


The council likely will make that decision at its last meeting in January or in early February.


It’s possible that the taxpayer-supported general fund could absorb the cost, Stinski said, because it appears the city will collect more revenue than it budgeted for 2007.


Gazette reporter Marcia Nelesen contributed to this story.
Whitest Decembers

The top 10 snowiest Decembers since 1948:


2000: 35.2


1987: 20.6


2007: 20.5


1977: 19


1950: 18.9


1983: 17.8


1951: 17.3


1969: 16.6


1978: 16.5


1994: 13.9


SNOW THIS DECEMBER

Janesville has received 20.51 inches of snow at the wastewater treatment plant on the city’s south side so far this month:


Dec. 1—6


Dec. 4—5


Dec. 6—3


Dec. 8—2


Dec. 9—0.01


Dec. 14—0.25


Dec. 15—3


Dec. 22—0.5


Dec. 23—0.25


Dec. 26—0.5



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