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.
A Record Long Winter: Persistent Cold, Snow, & Extremes
Dr. John Young, Director & Dr. Edward Hopkins, Climatologist
10 March 2014
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.
Maps of 2014 annual 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 2014 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
archive of statewide monthly precipitation, temperature and
snowfall maps for previous years (2001-2013)
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 (2001-2010)
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