Wisconsin Climate Watch
-"Real-Time Climate Variability"
This page focuses on the recent weather and
climate for Wisconsin on time scales that range
from the last seven days to the last 12 months.
Late Winter 2014-2015 Report: Mild Temperatures Lead to Exceptional Cold
Dr. John Young, Director & Dr. Edward Hopkins, Climatologist
This season has had two faces, with the first month of meteorological winter (December) warmer than normal, and now a very cold final month of February. Taking into account computer model projections of a continuing "polar vortex" jet stream pattern, February averaged 10-12 degrees below normal, similar to the exceptional February 2014, and was the coldest in the past 79 years for Madison and Milwaukee.
Ice: Unusual for Madison Lakes, Approaching Exceptional for Great Lakes
Madison Lakes- The two largest ones (Mendota and Monona) closed about two weeks later than average due to the abnormally warm December, while the smaller Lake Wingra closed two weeks earlier due to the abnormally cold November. See our Madison Lakes Ice Summary website for details.
Great Lakes- In mid- February their average ice cover increased rapidly beyond its normal maximum value for the season. On March 2, the average for all lakes was 88%, and Lake Michigan had about 75% coverage. In comparison, last winter's exceptional March ice cover was 92.5%. Great Lakes ice cover maps are updated daily by NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
Maps of 2015 temperature and precipitation data along with their departures from normal are available below.
Weather computer models and the seasonal forecasts of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center are available.
Last 24 Hours - Courtesy of NWS
- Southern Wisconsin
Last 7 Days (Statewide Maps) - updated by 10:30am Central Time
Last 30 Days (Statewide Maps) - updated by 10:30am Central Time
Last 90 Days (Statewide Maps) - updated by 10:30am Central Time
Recent precipitation data from NOAA NWS
- High-resolution Precipitation Maps from NOAA
Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimates (from NWS Radar Observations
and rain gauge data) for:
Monthly 2015 Statewide Maps -
Courtesy of Midwestern Regional Climate Center
- Precipitation (inches) - and departures from 1981-2010 Normals
- Mean Temperature (F) - and departures from 1981-2010 Normals
- Snowfall (inches) - and departures from 1981-2010 Normals
|% of normal
archive of statewide monthly precipitation, temperature and
snowfall maps for previous years (2001-2014)
Last 12 Months Averages
The data for these products come from the U.S. Cooperative Network, augmented by observations from NWS and FAA sites. These cooperative sites are operated by volunteer observers using approved instruments and observing techniques. Their efforts that provide sufficient data to generate these products are greatly appreciated.
- Statewide Monthly Averages for Last 12 Months and
departures from 1981-2010 Normals
- Divisional Monthly Averages for Last 12 Months
- Temperature (and departure from 1981-2010 normals)
- Precipitation (and departure from 1981-2010 normals)
archive of statewide-averaged data for previous years (2001-2014)
Wisconsin Drought Issues
- See the
section in our Water Systems page for current information on
Wisconsin soil moisture and potential drought conditions.
Midwest to Global
other graphics and narratives describing the climate of the Midwest,
the United States and the globe over the last week to one year are
Temperatures in 2010 -
Report from NOAA
Forecasts & Outlooks
- Short-term Wisconsin predictions - NWS Sullivan
- County-level agricultural forecasts are available for all Wisconsin Counties courtesy of the University of Kentucky
Agricultural Weather Center
- Local 3-month temperature outlook from National Weather
Southeastern and South central (Beloit, Dodgeville, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee, Montello, Oconomowoc, Port Washington, Wisconsin Dells
West central, Central, and Southwest Wisconsin (La Crosse, Lancaster 4WSW, Mather 3W, Medford, Viroqua 2S)
Northeast and East central Wisconsin (Appleton, Green Bay, Laona, Oshkosh, Rhinelander, Shawano, Sturgeon Bay, Two Rivers, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids)
West central and Northwest Wisconsin (Eau Claire, Rice Lake)
Northwest and North central Wisconsin (Danbury, Duluth/Superior, Gurney, Park Falls)
Upper Peninsula of Michigan
(Ironwood, Iron Mountain, Stephenson, Stambaugh)
Northern Illinois (Rockford, Marengo)
Northeast Iowa and Northwest Illinois
US Hazards Assessment (forecast) from Climate Prediction