When is ‘half a season?’

bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
405
Northern Michigan
I haven’t kept a log in the past but am sure someone has and suspect ‘half way through burning season’ is pretty close to the same time for all of us. Emotionally, it feels like we’re getting close to half way there, but I’ve only used about a third of my normal wood consumption. It’s been a warm winter and I’m wondering where I’m really sitting with respect to the calendar and BTU’s burned.

Anyone have hard numbers? Gut instinct?
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
I haven’t kept a log in the past but am sure someone has and suspect ‘half way through burning season’ is pretty close to the same time for all of us. Emotionally, it feels like we’re getting close to half way there, but I’ve only used about a third of my normal wood consumption. It’s been a warm winter and I’m wondering where I’m really sitting with respect to the calendar and BTU’s burned.

Anyone have hard numbers? Gut instinct?
I've had the exact thoughts. Thanks for posting, I'll be eagerly watching the responses.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,160
Southern IN
The lowest average daily average temp is about Jan. 20 here, and I think that would hold true for most of the nation. The shortest day is Dec. 21 but the earth stores some heat so the coldest average day is a month later.
I've been keeping the house a degree or two warmer so I think my wood consumption has been closer to the past average, even though it's been a warmer winter. I don't really know how much wood I use per year since I pull from different stacks. I would have to keep a record of what I bring up to the stacks outside the door but I haven't done that yet. I'd guess it's somewhere between one and two cords..
 
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ole

Member
Mar 4, 2015
44
Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin Madison has some interesting weather data. They have been keeping track for a long time. Their data indicates in Southern Wisconsin the average daily low temperature starts to fall in early August. It keeps falling til January 20th. At that time the average daily low stagnates for about a week then starts to go up. In my mind, that tells me, winter is half over sometime shortly after January 20th.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,668
SEPA
I think the second half of winter is always a lot harder, and seems a lot longer in terms of time. Because of the toll it takes. Generally there is some ground warmth left in the first half, once everything gets frozen solid, it's just way harder to keep warm. This year, there's only been a couple of weeks of real cold, and the ground isn't even frozen yet.
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
436
Erin, WI
According to this the coldest average day is pretty much Jan. 20.

 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,346
Northern NH
My call is we are at half way in the heating season between now and February first. Typically November December and January tend to be blustery without a lot of sun. There tends to be more consistent sun in late February through the spring plus the days are getting longer meaning more hours of daylight. My house has a lot of south facing glass and even if the temp is the same as a cloudy day, I can heat the house with sun with lot less wood if the sun is out. I also generate more power on my solar panels so I can run my minisplit without fear of running my surplus credit down too far.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
898
Palmyra, WI
January 20th
Average heating degree day charts peak at about that time also.
I charted this year, and it's trending earlier, but then again lots of winter left, and it's been jumping around quite a bit.
 

Attachments

Nov 2, 2008
167
Northern NH
On a macro level, we can use historical data to estimate when the midpoint would be and I would agree with the posts above. However, on a more micro level, the variability in weather from year to year and region to region as well as the r value of one's house and personal preference for interior temp leads me to to say that the ID of the halfway point in the burning season is something that can only be done after the season is complete at one's heating site.