A cold front has moved through the state resulting in a much cooler day than yesterday. Expect highs near 40; still above normal (36°) but nowhere near the warm temperatures we had yesterday. In Green Bay the high was 58° which is the warmest day since November 7, 2011, a span of about 4 months. Strong south winds ushered in that warm weather. Peak winds gusts in the area included 37 mph in Green Bay and Appleton; 31 mph in Marinette and Clintonville; 40 mph in Manitowoc and Oshkosh; 30 mph in Sturgeon Bay and 41 mph at 1 pm in Fond du Lac. The winds have turned to the west and northwest today at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph at times. Clouds will be on the increase today and there’s even a chance for a flurry this afternoon. It gets a bit colder tomorrow with a high near 34° but a big warming trend starts after that with highs near 60° by next Tuesday.
Earlier today, we posted information regarding the conclusion of the investigation into the death of Michael Philbin, the son of former Packers offensive coordinator and current Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
We have received several comments critical of us for reporting the information. Here’s why we believe it’s appropriate to report.
* We have followed the tragic case from the beginning. It makes sense to report the conclusion of the case.
* The incident was the subject of many rumors. By reporting the final determination by authorities – an accidental drowning – hopefully that puts some of the rumors to rest.
* When the Oshkosh Police Dept. sent us the release, included a statement from Coach Philbin and the family. We did not ask for such comment. It was provided to us. If you read it, it is a powerful statement from a grieving family. It includes a warning to not mix illegal drugs and alcohol. Because of the references to illegal drugs, etc., I’m not sure it would make total sense without the information from the police report.
* Our stories have included other information about Michael Philbin, including that he made the Dean’s List and had a 3.4 GPA at Ripon College.
We understand this has been a tragic situation for the Philbin family. It is not our intent to add to the family’s pain. We have respected the wishes of the family and Packers organization in matters related to coverage of the event, the funeral, questioning the coach about the incident, and so on.
But, the fact remains that the accidental drowning death of a college student – whether it was Michael Philbin, the UW-Stevens Point incident a week ago, or the several incidents near the UW-La Crosse campus – is indeed news. The Philbin family’s statement today indicates its hope this incident can serve as a lesson to others. I think it would be irresponsible of us not to report it or to share those sentiments. And it would be irresponsible to withhold information as well.
And, as always, we appreciate your feedback.
Today’s high is expected to be near 47, a full 12° warmer than normal for this time of year. In fact this is the normal high for early April. A breezy south and southwest wind at 10 to 20 mph is bringing up that warm air. It’s a warmer start to the day compared to yesterday too; most locations are 15 to 25 degrees warmer than yesterday morning at the same time. Unseasonably warm weather will continue tomorrow with a high near 50°. Then a cold front will cross the state and touch off rain in the afternoon. Temperatures won’t drop that much on the other side of the front with a high near 42° Thursday. Did you see? It’s now official…it really was warm this winter. Meteorological Winter is December, January and February and the National Weather Service notes that it was the second warmest average temperature since records began in the late 1880s. Along with the average temperature of 27.3°, we set a record for number of days 32° was reached at 68! Enjoy the day!
–Everyone seemed a little … just a slight bit agitated more Green Bay players didn’t make all-conference (Wojta made 1st team and defensive team, Ritchie 2nd); specifically Sarah Eichler and Lydia Bauer getting some kind of attention. While it’s tough to make four players from one team all-conference, Green Bay’s the class of the league. 10-8 UIC and 12-6 Wright State also put two players on the first and second teams. Matt Bollant also made the case for Megan Lukan to make the all-newcomer team.
–”I don’t think my coaches would’ve thought [I'd win defensive player of the year] the first two years either,” –Julie Wojta. The star forward seemed especially proud of her defensive player of the year honor. Bollant, too. This is a player who, in her and Coach Bollant’s minds, wasn’t exemplary on defense when she showed up in Green Bay. Assistant coach Mike Divilbiss told me about how Wojta key’s the Phoenix’s buzz defense from her spot on the 2-1-2 zone’s back line, her 3.5 steals per game easily lead the conference.
–Green Bay might face Milwaukee Wednesday … whom they beat by an average of 40.5 points this season. Phoenix topped Valparaiso by an average of 32 points. If you’re going to the HL quarterfinals Wednesday night, might want to show up early.
–Phoenix are up to 25th (from 27th) in the RPI, so leaning on an NCAA 6 seed. Green Bay might as well root for Detroit, the only team to beat them during the regular season, to make the HL finals … the Titans are currently 108th in the RPI, a few more wins (and strength of schedule bump from a hypothetical HL finals match-up against Green Bay) could sneak them into the top 100 … give the Phoenix a chance at another top 100 win. Or, you know, a seed-wrecking second loss.
Putting down 6.2 inches of snow in Green Bay, Winter Storm Crystal has been Title Town’s biggest snow this season. Most areas in the Fox Cities and Lakeshore received between 4 and 6 inches of snow. Temperatures will stay cold enough for the snow to last through the weekend. A big thaw will take a bite out of our snow pack as temperatures warm to the forties both Tuesday and Wednesday.
P.S. Snow totals are like rain totals, they can very from block to block. So if you saw more (or less) snow than is shown on the map, you did get more (or less) snow.
Computer forecast models are getting closer to agreeing on our snow forecast Friday. While still not in total agreement Model #1 is bullish on snow giving the Fox Cities 5-7” ; while Model #2 out puts 3-4”.
The Fox11 forecast has the heaviest snow in a band from Waushara into the Fox Cities and out to Manitowoc. Snow amounts of 3-4 inches are possible with isolated areas of 5. The snow will start tomorrow afternoon and will be heaviest during the commute home (5-6pm). The Northwoods that saw heavy snow from Winter Storm Bob will only see an inch or two. Check with severe weather expert Patrick Powell for the latest snow forecast on Fox11 News at 5pm.