The Wisconsin State Climatology Office is affiliated with the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
is to manage data for climate monitoring, to provide
climate information to Wisconsin residents and government agencies,
to develop "value-added" products for users and impact applications, and
to conduct applied
This office is a partner with Midwestern Regional Climate Center in providing climate services to the public.
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate
Change Impacts (WICCI)
research on climate impacts are now underway.
If you would like assistance finding the climate data you want, visit our Guide to Wisconsin Weather and Climate Data.
Short initial inquiries for data or staff assistance staff are free. More substantial efforts are covered by our Service Charge statement.
Madison Area Lakes Finally Open
The three Madison area lakes (Mendota, Monona and Wingra) finally opened during the second week of April, or eight to fifteen days later than the long-term median dates for opening. This late occurrence reflects the relatively cold and persistent winter weather that the Midwest has experienced. See our Madison Lakes Ice Summary website for additional details.
A Record Long Winter: Persistent Cold, Snow, & Extremes
The three meteorological winter months of December 2013-February 2014 have produced a season of persistent, intense cold and extremes that will be long remembered and impact the beginning of the spring season. Some headlines:
Persistent Cold- 50-100 year records for average cold, below normal daily temperatures, below zero days, and hours of extreme wind chill temperatures (below -20 degrees F) were common throughout Wisconsin.
Persistent Snow- Frequent fluffy snowfalls produced long periods of above normal snow coverage, 1-2 feet at the end of February, although the water content was only moderately above normal amounts.
Ice- The Great Lakes ice coverage peaked above 90% for all lakes, a modern record and one which has probably occurred only a few times in the past 100 years. River ice is unusually extensive, and ice thickness on all lakes is much greater than normal. Ground frost has penetrated to 3 feet in many counties, with deeper penetrations under local paved locations.
Spring Outlook- Abnormal cool temperatures are expected for much of March, delaying spring planting, ice break-ups and shipping. Lake temperatures should be unusually chilly throughout the season. The combination of ground frost and ice in rivers and lakes will raise the potential for flooding from spring rains.
A long-term view of past spring seasons can be found on our Spring Page. Related graphs and links may be found on the Climate Watch and Climate Impacts pages.
New! IPCC Report: Climate Change 2013 - Six years of new observations and analyses in this most authoritative scientific report. Physical Science Conclusions released in September 2013.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) posted an Information Statement on Climate Change on 20 Aug 2012.
-- Understanding the essential principles.
IPCC 2007 Report -- Six years of new observations and analyses in this most authoritative scientific report..
U.S. Global Change Research Program (2009) -- Impacts and regional issues.
For additional climate-change information, see our Climate Change page.